This Eid is very special for Shah Rukh Khan. And it’s not only because he has a big release, Chennai Express, on the festive day. This is also the first time in three years that he will be at home to ring in the festival with his family. But most of all, SRK is excited that this will be his son AbRam’s (who is only a few months old) first Eid. In an exclusive interview, SRK reminisces about going to Jama Masjid with his father, and how he convinces his kids to wear the achkan by telling them it looks like a costume from the Matrix trilogy.
How do you celebrate Eid?
I read the namaz with children and get friends to come over. There’s a maulvi saab who comes to read the namaz. I force my kids to wear Pathani suits and achkan (smiles). I sell the achkan to them by saying they are like Matrix (outfits; from the film), so they look cool. In the evening, we have a feast. This time, we’re calling a lot of people, since I wasn’t home for the last two Eids. Last year, I was in Ladakh (shooting for Jab Tak Hai Jaan).
Your movies usually release during Diwali, but this time, it’s an Eid release.
A release is a release. It’s about celebration and about letting go of something you’ve lived with (the film). Usually, two days after a Diwali release, it’s been my birthday (Nov 2). The fate of the film isn’t important ... you want to celebrate something (the film) you have lived with for a year-and-a-half. It kind of adds to the (festive) fervour; and you hope you can add to the happiness. Eid is special as it gives me a chance to introduce my family and friends to how we celebrate it. Diwali is as special, as Gauri then teaches everyone (smiles).
Does the presence of your son AbRam make this Eid more special?
Inshallah. That’s a happiness which is immeasurable. I am very happy that I am blessed by such a beautiful child. AbRam is my best production. I hope he gets well soon, and when he is completely well, the celebrations will be different.
How was Eid as a kid?
I used to go to Eidgah with my uncle and dad on a scooter. We’d go to Jama Masjid and read the Eid namaz together. My mom used to cook Hyderabadi food, dad would cook Pathani food. We would have friends over. We used to wear these kurta-pyjamas with kalaf (starch), which I used to hate. I’d wear pants instead of the pyjamas. But mom used to force me to wear it, which is how I got the habit, and now force my kids to wear them (smiles).
For Bollywood stars, Eid is about spending quality time with family and feasting on yummy homemade food
Huma Qureshi, actor
Ramadan fasting and Eid feasting are the most awaited events of the year. My mother’s mutton keema and sheer korma are my favourites. No Eid is ever complete without these two items on the table. As children, we would get Eidi (money or gift) from our parents and relatives. Every year, all my cousins would fight and cry if any one of us got more Eidi than the others.
Farah Khan, filmmaker
I still remember Eid from the time I was a kid. My grandmother would start the preparation of biryani a day before Eid. The next day, everyone would come home and give all of us kids our Eidi. The biryani would be served only by three in the afternoon. I would give anything to taste that biryani again. That biryani was beyond just tasty; it had my grandmother’s love in it.
Eid is a celebration of introspection of one’s body and soul in the month of Ramadan, and for me that is the real meaning of Eid. In my childhood, Eid was one of the few days in the year when we got pocket money from all our elders, and new clothes.
Soha Ali Khan, actor
When I was young, I would dress up in the morning and be most excited about my mother taking me to all our family friends’ homes where I was given my Eidi in colourful envelopes — crisp ten and twenty rupee notes! We would eat sevaiyan and an assortment of kebabs and mutton dishes. These days I have to give Eidi, not just receive it. And I donate some money to charity too.
(with inputs from PTI)