The cast and crew of 'Bajirao Mastani', who have been shooting at a breakneck speed to meet the pre-Christmas release deadline, decided to kick back on Tuesday. It was the 315th birth anniversary of Maratha warrior Bajirao Peshwa I and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali had organised a lavish lunch for the 12th generation descendants of the Peshwa ruler.

Deepika Padukone, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Ranveer Singh and birthday cake
Deepika Padukone, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Ranveer Singh

A source says, "Bhansali wanted to introduce his cast and crew to the descendants of the Peshwa lineage. He had met them as part of research for his period drama and was keen to see them again. Though he and his team have been working on a tight schedule, he decided to set aside one day to celebrate Bajirao's birth anniversary with the members of the royal family, who accepted his invitation and came here from Pune."

The birthday cake
The birthday cake

The cake cutting ceremony was followed by a vegetarian lunch. Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, who play Bajirao and Mastani respectively in the historical opus, also interacted with the Peshwa family members. "Thirteen from the family visited the set and were overwhelmed by Bhansali's gesture. They were welcomed with garlands and given royal treatment. They were happy to meet the star cast and expressed that they liked the film's teaser as well as the detailing of characters,"says a unit hand.

The Peshwa family, in turn, has now invited the filmmaker and his cast for a special lunch at their place in Pune. "We will visit them prior to the film's release," adds the insider.

Deepika says, "It was a special occasion for all us to have the Peshwa family amidst us on the birth anniversary of the great warrior. I am glad we were all together in this celebration."