Deepika Padukone reveals her Holi plans with Ranveer Singh: ‘He asked me if I am working’
She grew up in Bengaluru, Karnataka, where – as she puts it – the Holi fervour isn’t as much as in other parts of the country. But that never stopped Deepika Padukone from adding her share of colours in the festival along with friends and family.
Even now, she seems visibly blissful about “spending quality time” with her near-and-dear-ones on such special days. “The mythology part of festivals is obvious but what’s amazing is that festivals — be it Holi, Diwali or Ganpati — bring together people, families and communities. Also, I appreciate the fact that these festivals have been going on for generations and we still continue that tradition,” says the actor. Excerpts from an exclusive interview:
To start with, would you call yourself a Holi person?
The culture in south India is slightly different. So, while I was growing up, it wasn’t celebrated as much as it’s celebrated in other parts of the country, especially the North. In the South, it was never that much but I don’t know if things have changed now. In other parts of the country, even walking on the streets can be dangerous as anyone can randomly throw colours and eggs at you (smiles).
For you, what’s the most fascinating thing about the festival?
It’s the festival of colour but for me, in a way, it’s also a festival of light as my memory of it has been that it’s a ‘day-time festival.’ So, in my mind, that day is always very bright and sunny along with a lot of colour, joy and cheer. That’s what I really appreciate a lot about the Indian culture that every few months, there’s a festival which sort of brings the community together, irrespective of what’s going on in the world. In that moment, you just forget about everything else and just celebrate.
Do you have any special Holi memories from the childhood?
For starters, it calls for great family time. One of the things we all always got [on Holi] was a public holiday. So, there was no school, and since I grew up in an apartment [in Bengaluru], there would be a lot of friends. I remember all of us getting together to play Holi. Since I am someone who has always been about being ‘clean’, I had to be prepared much in advance that, ‘Holi aa rahi hai, so I’ve to keep aside an old set of clothes.’ At that time, there were no organic colours; it was all about hard colours which don’t come off for weeks.
So, you would have unstinted fun?
Yes, but since I was in school, I would also be worried as to how much Holi I can play as schools had their strict rules. In that moment though, you don’t think about those things. I remember my parents telling me to apply a lot of oil on my face, hair and skin so that colours doesn’t get into the skin that much, and would come off easily. And there was no way we could roam around after playing Holi, as we were supposed to head straight into the shower in order to not mess up the house.
Now, that you are married [to actor Ranveer Singh], have things changed vis-à-vis Holi celebrations, or festivals in general?
Not really! We both have always celebrated festivals. So, as much as possible, we try and be in the city, with family. We did the same even before marriage. So, nothing has changed as such, apart from the fact that earlier, the main celebration would take place in my house. Now, we [Ranveer and I] do a small pooja in our house and then we go to our in-laws’ home where everyone is together. So, it’s a bigger celebration. If our respective parents can be together [on that day], that’s the best thing. Otherwise, my in-laws are here so a part of the family is always around. We don’t do anything very elaborate. For us, the main idea of festivals or holidays is to spend quality time together.
What’s your idea of Holi? Has it changed over the years?
For me, Holi stands for a celebration of happiness, togetherness, and good food (smiles). And it’s great that such festivals are a really intrinsic and rich part of our culture. I feel that’s the beauty of our Indian culture and tradition. Even when we [actors] are [shooting] outdoors and miss out on celebrating a festival with the family, we, of course, try and celebrate in our own way with the unit but from the inside, you miss being in your city and with your family.
For you, what’s the best thing about the festival of colours?
I think it’s the feeling of sheer abandon. The other festivals are more ritualistic whereas Holi is one festival where there’s a lot of abandon. And what’s what sets it apart from other festivals.
Is there anything that you don’t like about it?
Eggs, I feel, is a bit too much (smiles). And I’ve an interesting story about eggs, my mum and Holi. She will be very upset that I have revealed the story but I have to (laughs). This is from before I had moved to Mumbai, and I was just about starting my modelling career. I had come to the city for a day with mum for an audition for a soap brand. After I finished my audition in the morning, we decided to go to meet my granddad, who lives in Peddar Road. From suburbs, we took a taxi and once we reached, mum said, ‘since it is Holi, let’s not take a chance. Let’s not get down [across the road from the building] and walk on foot to cross the road. Instead, we can take a U-turn’.
Then, what happened?
I was like, ‘mum, it doesn’t make any sense. The roads are so empty, so we can cross the road walking’. While we were crossing the road, a group of boys threw eggs at us, which hit my mum. Later, mum said, ‘I think they were trying to aim at you but eggs hit me instead’. Since that day, my favourite Holi memory is that (laughs). We didn’t even have a spare set of clothes as it was just a day-trip. The whole day, she smelt of eggs as it went into her hair also. I think she will never forgive me for that. I don’t see people letting go of so much during any other festival than they do on Holi.
Any special plan for this year’s Holi?
It’s the same; nothing special. Ranveer [Singh; husband] called me up a couple of days back in the evening, and the first thing he asked me was if I am working [on the Holi day]. Sometimes, it’s [working on Holi] really unavoidable. But as much as possible, we try and be with each other on festivals. Since no one else works on that day, it’s a great day to spend time with one another. Also, I’m going to leave for my outdoors [for director Shakun Batra’s yet-untitled next] soon, for about a month or month-and-a-half to Sri Lanka. So, Holi gives me an opportunity to spend quality time with my family before I go.
Work-wise, how are things looking?
I am starting Shakun’s film next. In fact, I will leave for its Sri Lanka schedule next week itself. That’s why I am looking forward to Holi a little more because it’s that day when I will get to spend time with everyone before all the hectic travelling etc. starts. The Intern adaptation, in all likelihood, will go into production in the beginning of 2021, around January. But I am looking at doing something else too [apart from Shakun’s film] in the second half of this year.