Lights, diyas, crackers and sweets — it is that time of the year again when you can indulge yourself to the hilt. Every Diwali also brings with itself a chance for people to connect. We ask TV stars to share their fondest memories of the festival, and tell us things they’d like to change about it.
I would like to change the packaging of crackers that have photos of various Gods and Goddesses on them. I feel you shouldn’t stick photos of Gods as one worships them and people throw away the packaging of firecrackers. This year, I’ll celebrate Diwali with my family and friends. My mother will make special sweets — mohanthal, sukdi, ghungra and magaj. My most memorable Diwali was a few years ago when I was able to meet most of my cousins. We had a blast recalling stories from our childhood and having loads of sweets and home-cooked food.
The one thing I would want to change about Diwali is we should be able to eat as much as we want and not put on weight at all (laughs). Diwali has always been an occasion that brings me closer to my culture. I have spent all my life abroad (mostly in Dubai), so celebrating Diwali and bursting crackers with friends always makes me feel closer to India. This Diwali, I wish I could go to my hometown for even a day. But I will be shooting and celebrating it with other actors.
Diwali is about forgetting all the bad things and spreading happiness. Each festival, we should evaluate ourselves, our progress and our failures. It will be my first Diwali in Mumbai. My father has also shifted to the city, so we will carry out all the festive rituals here. I will be making calls to wish all my friends and relatives, and catching up with some of them. I don’t support the idea of crackers because of pollution and safety issues, plus the money wasted on crackers can be given to the needy in the form of clothes, food and gifts. My most memorable Diwali was when my family and my uncle’s family came together at my grandfather’s place.
I would love to reduce noise and air pollution that happens through crackers. In fact, I think we should light a lot of diyas. In my hometown, Ujjain, we light up our house with 251 diyas every year. I used to love bursting firecrackers as a kid but not anymore. I also look forward to my nani’s delicacies that she makes every year. This year Vahbbiz (actor and Vivian’s wife) and I will celebrate Diwali at our home in Mumbai while my mom will celebrate it in Ujjain and join us later. She will bring all the wonderful food nani will cook. I especially love gujiyas and besan ki chakki.
What I would like to change about Diwali is both the noise and air pollution. I wish people would give up on bursting crackers forever. Why can’t it just remain a beautiful festival of lights? Like every year, this time too, I will celebrate Diwali with my family. We also have a puja at home. My fondest memory of Diwali is from my childhood when we’d go out shopping.
There are so many delicacies made during Diwali, but many people cannot afford to have that luxury. If I would get an opportunity, I would like to reduce food prices so that even the poor can afford these delicacies. This Diwali is going to be a lot of fun with my family and friends. My fondest memory of the festival is when I was about 19-20 years old. I had put a lot of crackers into a steel bucket and burnt them. One of the crackers rebounded and hit me on my head. I have been mad since.
I would love it if we had non-polluting crackers. Wouldn’t that be great? Another thing that I wish for is that all TV actors get three days off to enjoy the festival. All my Diwalis so far have been memorable as I have celebrated them with family and friends. However, this year, I will be shooting for my show Madhubala on the day.