Never been to Varanasi? Never mind. Just drive past Select Citywalk Mall one of these days, and you’ll see something that closely resembles a ghat on the Ganga near the entrance of the parking lot.Okay, it’s not the real thing. To get the real thing, you’d have to actually visit Varanasi. But it’s a pretty nifty piece of work and much used by fascinated bystanders as the latest location for a selfie. And no wonder. It must have taken months to visualise and create – and then it must have been set up overnight.
But Diwali décor must also be somewhat traditional. That’s why you’ll find lots of lanterns, idols of Ganesha, and rangolis.
“Each festival has certain rituals and traditions that are precious to our sentiments as Indians,” says Geeta Samuel of Q Events that handles the décor for Select Citywalk.
Diwali at DLF Emporio, the luxury mall, is all about opulence and lights, says Dinaz Madhukar, senior vice president, DLF Emporio.
And Select Citywalk, aside from its Ganga ghat, is slathered with shlokas and mantras, and a central jyot installed with multiple lights.
So when do these themes actually become reality? Given that malls don’t get a day off, execution must happen at night. “It’s like the story of the elves that used to fix all the shoes once the cobbler went to sleep. He would wake up to a little bit of magic every morning,” says Geeta Samuel. “The most important factor during decor planning in malls is the ability to forge manpower and designs in the dark once the mall is inaccessible to the public.”
And once that’s done, there’s another festival to think about and another theme to consider. Keep that camera ready.
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From HT Brunch, October 19
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