Let the good times roll!

DESI DELIGHTS

Let the good times roll!

Pravin Godkhindi, Flautist

We are a North Karnataka family and on Deepavali all the men folk are greeted with aarti by the women of the house. While the morning is about the traditional pooja, towards evening we celebrate in a fun way. I play the dice game pagade all through the night with friends. In fact we take turns organising the party.

The food is not really traditional, we make pasta and for the kids we try and make attractive sweets and package them nicely. It’s more relaxed in the evenings; the traditional dhoti kurtas give way to Bermudas and t-shirts.

Amrita Rao, ActressAmrita Rao

Since Diwali is an auspicious day I will be investing in technology this year. I plan to buy an entire range of home appliances for my mom who keeps complaining of my house not being in order!  To me, Diwali means being with family and friends.

I will be attending a few poojas as well as pre-Diwali parties. If time permits and I’m done with all my prior commitments, I shall pay a visit to Vaishnodevi with my family.

Bhavana RaoBhavana Rao, Actress

This year it’s going to be a grand Deepavali. My brother, who got married recently, is all set to celebrate it in a big way too. We’ll have diyas all over the house and we’ll invite friends over. I am planning to make lots of chocolates using a newly-learned recipe and my sister-in-law’s help!

Kailash Kher, Singer

Diwali is the only festival we celebrate in a big way. y wife Sheetal ensures that all traditions are followed. In fact at home we make sure that we actually chant the prayers and sing the aarti; we do not use recorded music. Having moved to Mumbai things are different. Kailash Kher

We distribute customised chocolates and sweets to friends and relatives. This year I will be performing with my band Kailasa in Sydney, so we will celebrate there. My wife and son Kabir will be there as well.

Deepika Govind, Designer

The festival means spending time with loved ones — family and friends. I am also planning to spend a couple of hours with less fortunate people, visit an orphanage or a destitute home. I am hoping to distribute crackers and sweets and spend some time with them to spread the festive cheer.

Ayaan Ali Khan, Sarod player

I have been fortunate to have an upbringing with a Muslim father and Hindu mother, so my brother and I have interpreted festivals in our own way. Every year we buy candles and diyas from a school for the blind in Delhi. Diwali brings an old world charm, when you can actually drop in on anyone, unannounced. We have a lot of visitors and we also visit our friends in Mumbai and Delhi during this time.

Jessie Paul, Founder and CEO, Paul Writer

This is my first year of actually running a business of my own, so I want to use this opportunity to send gifts to clients to thank them. Instead of doing the usual sweets and crackers routine, we wanted to do something that goes with the theme of books, so we decided to donate books for the library of a local government school. We are working with the Akshara Foundation for this initiative and will be donating 1000 books — basically a collection of children’s books in Kannada and English.

Shiv Khera, Motivational speaker

The concept of Diwali does not change — it’s the victory of good over evil. We celebrate Dhanteras and perform the Lakshmi pooja at the office. The significance of this, which everyone understands, is that we need to be grateful for what we have, thank God for keeping us prosperous and make sure that money is well earned and put to good use.

We do not gift our staff sweets but rather silver items as well as a home utility item. Keeping the extended family happy makes sure we have a deeper connection with each other, and Diwali is a great occasion to do just that.

Anu Prabhakar, Actress

Anu Prabhakar While we don’t burst crackers, the whole house will be lit up with candles and diyas. For some part of the evening, we won’t use any electric lights. Deepavali is really a time to entertain friends and relatives, and through the course of the three days we will have lots of parties. I will also visit my mother’s house for a dinner party, where I  am hoping to be all dressed up. We also make sure we buy new clothes for all our staff at home.

Jackky Bhagnani, Actor

I am planning a special card session with a theme this year. We are also planning to do some interesting cocktails at the card party. I have been out shooting for the last 45 days, so this is a great reason to spend time with friends and family. Diwali is an occasion to catch up with friends.

Sonu Sood, Actor

This Diwali I will going to Shirdi and Vaishnodevi. It is pilgrimage time for me to thank God and celebrate the huge success of Dabangg. I have also moved into a new home and am looking forward to my next movie with Amitabh Bachchan, Buddha. So, this Diwali I will be paying my respects to God for all the blessings.

Mahima Choudary, Actress

I am an entertainer and have been invited to do a show in Hong Kong for Diwali for the Indian community there. I am very excited as this is for a whole week, so my Diwali will be different. I have celebrated Diwali with a foreign crew in the past and they were quite fascinated with how we celebrate with lights and crackers. Diwali is all about food and song and dance — the Bollywood way!

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