Karan Johar celebrated turning 50 with the grandest of parties held at Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai on Wednesday night. Everyone who is anyone in Bollywood was there – those who were not had good reason to be absent. Chief among the absentees were Alia Bhatt, to whom Karan Johar is mentor, and Deepika Padukone – Alia is abroad filming her Hollywood debut Heart Of Stone and Deepika is currently on jury duty at the Cannes Film Festival. Also absent from the red carpet was Karan Johar's close friend Shah Rukh Khan – his wife Gauri, however, did pose for pictures and video of SRK dancing at the party has gone viral.
Nearly everyone else marked their presence at Karan Johar's big fat Bollywood birthday party. Salman Khan, with whom the filmmaker reportedly shared frosty relations in the past (and plainly a thing of the past, topped the celebrity roll-call.
Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal, who married last December, attended together. Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan made a glamorous couple's entry, having recently returned from Cannes – Abhishek and Karan Johar have been friends since they were children.
Karan Johar's best friend Gauri Khan walked the red carpet without husband Shah Rukh Khan (who was at the party but avoided the cameras). Also attending the party were solo were Kajol and Anushka Sharma.
The stars of much-awaited upcoming film Laal Singh Chaddha arrived with plus-ones – Karan Johar's close friend Kareena Kapoor was escorted by husband Saif Ali Khan and Aamir Khan attended with ex-wife Kiran Rao, also a very good friend of the birthday boy. Karan and Kareena share one of Bollywood's storied friendships and working relationships; he directed her in films like Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and We Are Family.
Alia Bhatt was represented by husband Ranbir Kapoor who escorted mother Neetu. Varun Dhawan and Kiara Advani, Neetu's co-stars of the upcoming film JuggJugg Jeeyo, posed together on the red carpet.
Hrithik Roshan brought along girlfriend Saba Azad; his ex-wife Sussanne Khan also arrived with a date – boyfriend Arslan Goni.
Some of Karan Johar's closest friends were the earliest arrivals at the party – Shweta Bachchan, Farah Khan and Manish Malhotra. All three were at the previous night's party as well.
Shweta's daughter Navya Naveli Nanda arrived later, posing with friend Ananya Panday. Their other friend Shanaya Kapoor was there was well – Suhana Khan, the remaining member for their squad, did not appear to be at the party. Ananya was launched by Karan Johar's Dharma Productions and Shanaya will be as well.
Siblings Sara Ali Khan and Ibrahim showed up together. Shanaya's cousin Janhvi Kapoor, also a Dharma talent, attended as well.
Karan Johar himself appeared on the red carpet an posed with a select few from his guest list, among them Rani Mukerji who made her debut in his film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and is married to KJo's cousin and Yash Raj boss Aditya Chopra. Malaika Arora attended the party without boyfriend Arjun Kapoor.
Shahid Kapoor came with wife Mira. His brother Ishaan Khatter was at the party as well – Shahid and Ishaan just got back from the biking trip across France.
Parineeti Chopra, Tara Sutaria, Kriti Sanon and other actresses made the red carpet glam, dressed in their party best.
Ranveer Singh, who flew to Cannes to be with wife Deepika Padukone and appears to be back, went to the party solo. Other stag arrivals included Vijay Deverakonda, Tiger Shroff, Sidharth Malhotra, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Rajkummar Rao.
The couple's corner was filled up with Preity Zinta and husband Gene Goodenough, Genelia D'Souza and Riteish Deshmukh, Neha Dhupia and Angad Bedi and others.
Karan Johar, currently directing Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh in Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani, announced an action film on his birthday yesterday.