Avinash Lohana (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 19, 2017)

Lyricist-screenwriter Javed Akhtar celebrated his 72nd birthday with a party at his Juhu residence on Tuesday with wife Shabana Azmi and kids, Farhan and Zoya. Hrithik Roshan, Anil Kapoor, Vidya Balan, Urmila Matondkar, Farah Khan and Shirish Kunder, Sridevi and Boney Kapoor, Mahesh Bhatt and Soni Razdan, Reema Kagti, Kalki Koechlin, Ritesh Sidwani, Sunidhi Chauhan with composer husband hubby Hitesh Sonik, turned up to wish the birthday boy.

“As late as the previous night, Javed casually said, ‘Okay, let’s invite a few friends over’, after much hemming and hawing. He is so popular, particularly with the younger generation, that 75 friends turned up and made it a warm evening,” says Shabana.

At the bash that wrapped up at 2 am, Sonu Nigam, Shankar Mahadevan, Alka Yagnik, Aditi Rao Hydari and Ashutosh Gowariker sang songs, several penned by Javed, while composer Raju Singh strummed the guitar, Lalit Pandit was on the keyboard and Sonu played on make-shift drums. “Bas maza aa gaya,” adds the hostess, who joined Sunidhi in belting out “Kajra Mohabbat Wala”. “The home-cooked food was delicious,” Sunidhi beams.

Ask Shabana about the b’day gift and she quips, “I am looking for a surgeon who can attach his mobile to his body. Every five minutes, he misplaces it and the whole house is turned topsy-turvy looking for it. He used to lose his specs till he had a procedure that made him specs-free. Now, I need something for his cell phone,” she laughs.