Avinash Lohana (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 17, 2017)

Sidharth Malhotra rang in his 32nd with a bash at mentor Karan Johar’s Bandra residence on Sunday night. The birthday boy’s steady date, Alia Bhatt, was among the first guests to arrive with sister Shaheen in tow.

“It was an informal gathering and Sidharth was happy to have his friends around him on his special day. He cut two-three cakes as everyone surrounded him to sing the birthday song,” informs a guest from the party.

Besides Sid, Alia was the centre of attention at the do as guests flocked around her to congratulate her on the Best Actress win at the recently concluded 62nd JIO Filmfare Awards.

The 23-year-old actress had snagged the top honour for her portrayal of a down-on-luck Bihari immigrant in Abhishek Chaubey’s dark drug drama Udta Punjab. While she refrained from wishing Sid ‘happy birthday’ on the social media, elder sister Shaheen was more forthcoming, taking to Instagram to describe the actor as “one of the best people I know”.

Most of Sidharth’s leading ladies, including his Baar Baar Dekho love, Katrina Kaif, Hasee Toh Phasee heroine, Parineeti Chopra, Reload co-star Jacqueline Fernandez, and Sonakshi Sinha, with whom he’ll soon start shooting for the Ittefaq remake, were in attendance.

Karan’s director buddy Ayan Mukerji was there too along with Farhan Akhtar and designers Kunal Rawal and Manish Malhotra. The surprise guest was Imran Khan who was accompanied by wife Avantika.

In 2014, Karan and the actor had a fallout after the debacle of Gori Tere Pyaar Mein but have since mended fences. The revelry continued well past midnight, with the last of the guests filing out around 4 am.
Mohar Basu (MID-DAY; January 17, 2017)

Sidharth Malhotra was greeted to a full house on the eve of his birthday last evening, when a “small get-together” turned out to be a grand surprise, with his close friends in attendance at mentor Karan Johar’s home. The director, who only last year hosted a splendid bash for buddy Manish Malhotra on his 50th birthday, left no stones unturned for Sidharth either.

Sid’s rumoured girlfriend, Alia Bhatt, who insists she isn’t in a relationship with the actor, didn’t hold back from showcasing her affection for him yesterday. She made an early entry with her BFF Akansha Ranjan and sister Shaheen, and stayed right until the end. Other guests to arrive at the party included Katrina Kaif, Jacqueline Fernandez, Parineeti Chopra, Manish Malhotra and Sonakshi Sinha. The Akhtars — Farhan and sister Zoya — as well as Sidharth’s Baar Baar Dekho producer Ritesh Sidhwani were also present at the do. Conspicuous by his absence was Sid’s Student of The Year co- star and buddy Varun Dhawan.

In an earlier conversation with hitlist, Sidharth confessed that he had an action film and another murder mystery, rumoured to be a remake of Ittefaq (1969), in his kitty. Talking about the latter, he had also stated that he was looking forward to the challenge of exploring a “dying genre”. His friends from the industry were seen chatting him up about his preparation for the film, while Sid patiently absorbed the suggestions. But for the most part of the evening the guests steered away from discussions revolving around work.

The cake cutting ceremony was followed by dance, chatter and banter between friends and the bonhomie went on till wee hours of morning. Sid kept the day clear of work, and only stepped out in the afternoon to grab lunch at a quaint restaurant in Bandra with Alia. They then drove off straight to Sid’s bachelor pad in Khar to meet a few friends. In the evening, the duo walked in together for Karan Johar’s book launch at Taj Land’s End.