Who says Diwali is only about crackers and mithai? Raise the stakes on October 30 | brunch$feature | Hindustan Times
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Who says Diwali is only about crackers and mithai? Raise the stakes on October 30

Who says Diwali is only about crackers and mithai? Raise the stakes on Oct 30

brunch Updated: Oct 08, 2016 13:03 IST
Diwali

In much of North India, the festival celebrates the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya with Sita, after slaying Ravana who abducted her and kept her in captivity

Who says Diwali is only about crackers and mithai? Raise the stakes on Oct 30

In India, where we are never short of a good story, there are as many Diwali legends as there are types of crackers. Your Diwali story probably depends on which part of the country you come from. In much of North India, the festival celebrates the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya with Sita, after slaying Ravana who abducted her and kept her in captivity. The people of Ayodhya celebrated, lining the streets with lamps, and the tradition continues. In the South, the day is known as Naraka Chaturdashi and marks the slaying of the wicked Narakasur by Lord Krishna. Another story goes that the Goddess Lakshmi emerged from the ocean of nectar as it was being churned by the devas and the asuras.

Diwali signifies the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, hope over despair – all essential beliefs for negotiating life.

New age Diwali

* Chase the lights: Take your Diwali break far from home and take your camera along. To see thousands of lamps – not to mention an equal number of revellers – in one swoop, Varanasi is the place. The flickering lights on the banks of the Ganges are a sight worth seeing, and the city is also famous for its sweets. So indulge. Jaipur also puts up a great show, with the walled city bathed in light. In Udaipur, the palace fireworks alone make the trip worthwhile.

* Gamble in style: If Diwali equals taash parties for you, then take a gambling holiday. Think Las Vegas or Macau, perhaps. Closer home, it’s a great time to be in Goa, where you can hit the casinos. Gangtok offers similar attractions. Or set up your own casino at home. How about some poker and patakas for friends?

* Note for fashionistas: This year, it’s all about flaunting desi with a twist. Combine your tussar saree with a smart shirt. Wear a flowing ghagra with a slinky crop top. Channel the fusion vibe and have fun!

Stay sensitive and sensible

Silent Diwalis are eco-friendly and babies, dogs and sick people will thank you. So give up the crackers. Opt for green oil lamps. Cut down the extravagance. Share the festive spirit with those less fortunate. Give gifts and sweets to the needy, volunteer time for a cause and have a feel-good festival.

Today’s special at The Kochhars

Fashion designer Jattinn Kochhar with his kundalini yoga instructor wife, Gunjan. (On Jattinn: Tunic and pants by Jattinn Kochhar, Uniqlo shoes, and neckpiece from his personal collection On Gunjan: Karuna Khaitan anarkali suit, traditional Jammu jhumkas, diamond wedding ring and Vivienne Westwood sandals) (Reuben Singh)

Only in our family

“If you were to ask me what’s unique about festivities in our family, it’d have to be the malai ki sabzi cooked by my mother,” says Jattinn. “This unusual family delicacy was prepared by my paternal grandmother every Diwali during my childhood days, and now my mother is taking this family tradition forward,” he adds.

And this year...

The Kochhars are looking forward to spending quality time away from the city. “We both seek the idyll of a remote place. So this month, we shall head to Jim Corbett National Park for five days,” says Jattinn.

Who’s gifting who what?

Jattinn to Gunjan: A customised neckpiece with a mix of gold, Murano beads, black onyx, haematite stones, plastic and resin

Gunjan to Jattinn: A holiday to Berlin

—Vidya Prabhu

From HT Brunch, October 8, 2016

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