Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor and other Bollywood celebs share their Christmas memories and plans for this year.
Christmas is family time for Katrina Kaif (Prashant Singh reports)
Katrina Kaif is a true global citizen — she was born in Hong Kong, has lived in Switzerland, USA, France and Poland, even moving to her mother’s home country, England, before making Mumbai her base.
But even though the actor lived in England only for a few years, she has fond memories of celebrating Christmas with her large family — five sisters, one brother and her mother, Susanna Turquotte.
"Christmas, for me, was always about us six sisters. It was always the most important part of the year for us because it was the one time (as while growing up, we lived apart) that we got together and spent time with each other. So, basically, the festival brings back some of the warmest and happiest memories for me, says Katrina.
Ask if she remembers doing anything special on the day and she says, "I can recall that there was always a fight about who was going to cook (for the Christmas feast)."
And was she involved in this ‘fight’ at all? "No. They had to decide amongst themselves who was going to cook. There was no question of me cooking. I didn’t want to cook or have anything to do with it, so I was always, and still am, ruled out," she says.
Ever since Katrina has shifted to India, she has always made it a point to travel to London to celebrate Christmas with her family. But, this year, rumours are that she will be celebrating the festival with her alleged boyfriend, actor Ranbir Kapoor.
"This year, you guys (the media) should have fun and enjoy your Christmas, and not ask me what I’m doing with mine," says the actor, with a smile.
Christmas is a family tradition: Kareena Kapoor Khan (Kavita Awaasthi reports)
Kareena Kapoor Khan simply loves Christmas and celebrates it each year with much fervour. In the past, the actor, her mother Babita and sister Karisma Kapoor, have attended the midnight mass at St Andrew’s church in Bandra.
"Christmas has always been huge in their (the Kapoors’) family. They even decorate a Christmas tree at home and have a lavish feast on December 25. This year, the Kapoors will host a lunch, for which most of Kareena’s relatives will gather along with some close friends," says a source close to the actor. "Her husband, Saif Ali Khan, too, will be part of the celebrations. Kareena also buys gifts for her niece and nephew," the source adds.
Kareena’s mother Babita is half-Christian. Her grandmother was a British national, married to a Sindhi man, so the family has been attending midnight mass for years now.
Kareena says, "Christmas is a family tradition for us and this year, like every year, I will be celebrating it with my family and friends. I look forward to the date every year. Going to Mount Mary church has always been special for me and my family."
Shahid plays Santa (Prashant Singh reports)
It’s been a long time coming, but with R… Rajkumar, Shahid Kapoor has had his first hit film in a while. And with the actor in a happy mood, on Christmas Eve, we asked him to celebrate with a group of really young fans from the NGO Pratham. And he readily agreed.
Shahid spent time with the kids, taught them steps to his latest song, ‘Saree ke fall sa’, which they quickly picked up, and then danced with them. Next, it was time for an informal question-and-answer session. The children posed a few tricky ones too, like
"Why haven’t you gotten married till now?’ and ‘Why have you grown such a long beard?'
Left slightly speechless at first, the actor quickly recovered to reply, "Mujhe abhi tak koi ladki mili hi nahi. Aap hi dhoond do kisi ko (I haven’t found a girl yet. Why don’t you find one for me?)."
Later, he cut a Santa Claus-shaped cake with the kids and even fed it to them. He then handed out gifts and happily posed with them in front of a Christmas tree.
Shahid — who spent a lot of his early years in Delhi — told us, “While I was growing up, I always looked forward to Christmas. Even now, it gets me excited like a child. This year, I’m really happy to have celebrated the festival with kids from the NGO. It’s a noble cause. I just had to say ‘yes’.”This was part of HT’s ‘You Read They Learn’ initiative, a year-round programme to help educate underprivileged children in Mumbai and surrounding areas. For each new subscription, HT sets aside 5 paise every day towards the effort to educate underprivileged children. Pratham is one of the partner NGOs for the programme.
It's charity time on Christmas for Vivek Oberoi (Kavita Awaasthi reports)
Vivek Oberoi is recognised for his charity work towards health, education and disaster relief. Recently, the actor visited an old age home in Shillong as an extension of his philanthropic activities and surprised the inhabitants. "The residents were happy to meet him and had a long chat with him. When he met a 105-year-old lady, he immediately hugged her," says a source.
Vivek had visited the city as a special guest at a youth summit. He was also accompanied by the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Mukul Sangma. Talking about the experience, the actor says, "It was an unplanned visit. I was touched to see the love and affection that these women at the old age home showered on me and we ended up celebrating Christmas with them. It will be one of my most cherished memories."
Unfortunately, because the decision of visiting the old age home was impromptu, Vivek couldn’t carry Christmas presents along. "The visit wasn’t decided earlier. So, Vivek sent them all the Christmas presents later," adds the source.