Anil Kapoor

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We couldn't afford crackers: Anil Kapoor

Diwali is about good food, good company and card parties. But more than anything else, it’s about family. So, on this special occasion, we got one of the most close-knit families in Bollywood to open up. The Kapoors — daddy Anil and daughters Rhea and Sonam — graciously let us into their home, and shared their Diwali stories.

What does Diwali mean to you?
Anil Kapoor: It’s about coming together with your family and meeting friends. More than anything else, this festival signifies the emotions India stands for.
Sonam Kapoor: For me, it’s about fun and family time. Mum makes sure that no matter how busy we are, we’re all together at home.
Rhea Kapoor: It’s always been a cosy affair with a lot of food, lights and celebrations.

Has the significance of the festival changed over the years?
ak: It’s remained the same for me.
sk: Yes. As kids, we would burst crackers, but we don’t anymore. Also, growing up, I spent a few Diwalis at boarding school. Now we visit our grandparents and relatives.

Which was your most memorable Diwali?
sk: My debut film, Saawariya (2007), released on Diwali. So that was special.
ak: One year in the late 90s, I was in New York for work, so I couldn’t be at home. I felt bad but told them, “Laxmi ki puja karte ho aur Laxmi ki zarurat hai, toh mujhe jana hoga.”

Do you remember getting any special gifts?
ak: As a kid, I’d get money and gifts from uncles and aunts. It was thrilling, especially getting crackers from rich relatives, because we couldn’t afford them.
rk: More than my gifts, I look forward to what my mother is going to give to friends and relatives, because she always does something special.

Who is the most dedicated to following rituals?
ak: Sonam is very much into Diwali. Rhea too, to an extent. Harsh (his son) has to be dragged for puja.
rk: Sonam and my mother are more about celebrating it the traditional way. I participate as well.

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