Stunning Bollywood Beauty Aditi Rao Hydari shares her fond memories associated with the festival and a special message to all our readers in an exclusive interview with DARPAN.
Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, is significant for many reasons. According to Hindu mythology, Diwali marks the return of King Rama to the city of Ayodhya after defeating Raavana.
It represents the triumph of good over evil, of light over darkness. It is seen by many as a festival of positivity and new beginnings. Bollywood’s style icon, Aditi Rao Hydari, defines it as a festival of wellbeing. “Diwali for me is an invoking of wellbeing and positivity into your home and your life,” says the beautiful actress.
Aditi’s success story is one for the books. In a short span of time, this talented lady has managed to vow audiences with her acting skills and stunning looks. Her recent film, Bhoomi, alongside Sanjay Dutt, was a box-office hit, where she garnered immense praise for her role. She is famous in the fashion circuit for her exceptional sense of style and spectacular beauty.
Having worked with some of the top directors of the film industry like Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Imtiaz Ali and Mani Ratnam, Aditi will be seen next in the most awaited film of the year, Padmavati.
Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the period drama features a star cast comprising of Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, and Ranveer Singh. Aditi will play the role of Mehru, wife of Alauddin Khilji, played by Ranveer. “It’s been a childhood dream come true to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali,” says Aditi, sharing her excitement on the film that releases December 7. Yes, the Bollywood diva is all set to sparkle and shine this festive season.
Coming back to Diwali, Aditi shares her fond memories associated with the festival and a special message to all our readers in an exclusive interview with DARPAN.
What does the word Diwali mean to you?
The ritual of lighting a lamp is special at different levels. There is a golden glow and warmth... it dissipates all negativity and fills your home and your thoughts with positivity and a sense of well being. Diwali for me is an invoking of wellbeing and positivity into your home and your life.
How do you usually celebrate Diwali?
Ideally, I like to be home over Dusshera and Diwali with family. We light up the house with diyas, make kolams/rangolis, and there is always music. No crackers! My mum talked me out of it when I was small because of what it did to the animals and the kind of toxic smog the city would get enveloped in.
What are you planning for Diwali this year?
I'm going to London on work, so will probably stay back with my childhood friends and celebrate Diwali with them. I don't want to be on a flight on Diwali. It will be a different Diwali for me in London.
What has been the most memorable Diwali so far?
Diwali in my grandparent’s home has always been the best.
Are you associated with any social work or charitable organization during Diwali?
I do whatever I can to make sure animals are safe. I spread the word on social media, and in my own home, I try and brainwash the people who work with me to not buy crackers. Change starts from your own home, and people learn by example, so I do whatever I can.
Tell us a good and not-so-good thing about Diwali according to you?
The good part is the happiness all around, the beautifully lit homes, the positivity, and everyone is usually in a good mood! The homes are clean, everyone’s dressed amazingly, people are more generous, and there is always amazing food.
The bad stuff is the crackers and the fact that people are so wasteful, the noise and the pollution, and I hate what happens to animals during Diwali, it’s heartbreaking.
What is your favourite Diwali food or snack?
I have a big weakness for kaju barfi... I could finish a box pretty easily.
Diwali is also a time for fashion, what is Diwali dressing for you?
Always something simple, Indian and traditional, with amazing jewellery.
There are a lot of trends associated with Diwali like card parties, themed Diwali parties and so on. Do you follow any of these trends?
I know nothing about trends ever. I go for some fun Diwali parties if I’m in Mumbai. I’m terrible at cards and I can never remember which sequence is better than which. Neither can I hide my excitement if I have good cards! I’m infamous for having packed on an ace trail and I still won by some fluke.
Do share a Diwali beauty and style tip.
Go on a detox before Diwali! Eat lots of greens and drink veggie juices. Keep your body alkaline to make sure your skin glows because post Diwali you might be nursing a hangover or a stomach ache.
What are your views on an eco-friendly Diwali?
I just wish more people were sensitive, concerned and environmentally-conscious enough to want an eco-friendly Diwali. It’s getting better though now slowly; I see my little cousins saying no to crackers.
Which project are you working on at the moment? Do share your future plans?
At the moment Padmavati opposite Ranveer Singh. It’s been a childhood dream come true to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali. It’s been challenging and a huge learning experience; I’m love every moment of it.
How do you see your journey in Bollywood so far? Which were the best moments, according to you?
I’ve done it on my own and in my way one step at a time. My growth has been organic and tough but it’s always been a step ahead. I’ve always believed in my dreams and still do believe that dreams come true.
One [of the best moments] was working with Mani Ratnam, I couldn’t have asked for a bigger blessing and I hope I get this opportunity again. Singing live for AR Rahman with him on the piano at the MetLife stadium in New York City, and working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali have been the highlights of my seven year career. I feel blessed and I know there is more to come.
What special message would you give readers on Diwali?
Diwali has now become a festival of wealth but it is not about wealth. It is one of the most beautiful festivals – a festival of wellbeing.
Credits: Indian outfits: Hair & Makeup by Elton Fernandez, Outfits by Anita Dongre, Photography by R Burman; Amit Ashar; courtesy Aditi Rao Hydari