Tips to celebrate Diwali the South Indian way in Mumbai
Diwali is best spent at home, with family but all festivals are as special as we make them, therefore if Mumbai is not your hometown and you still want a flavor of a thamizh Diwali, I am going to tell you how you can do it in a super easy way. We have done it a few times over the last few years, when we have not travelled back to Chennai for the festival
The best part of Diwali is easily all the yummy bakshanam, and the blatant license to eat it without guilt. We also enjoy the marindhu – the spicy, magic every sin melting concoction. Frankly while we enjoy this we never seem to have the motivation or the time to make any of it.
To the rescue is A.S. Rajashekar Caterers. You can find them at the Bhajana Samaj in Matunga. All Bakshanam is made fresh, and there is a disciplined system in place. You can taste, choose what you want pay and walk away with a lot of goodies. They have even marindhu that you can buy and you do not have to slave over it.
Visit Giri Stores for essentials.
Not only will this store transport you back to Mylapore, you can also buy some really interesting festive items from there. Perfect for lamps, bells, temple jewellery and music CDs. I like visiting this place, to refresh the lamp stash during a festival and if you are calling people home they make for very interesting Tamboolam Bags too. It is the ideal place to buy Ready Made Kolams as well, if like me you do not have an artistic bone in your body.
Flowers... Flowers and more Flowers
While this city loves it’s mogras, it feels more like a celebration if you have got some mallipoo into the equation. The flower market in Matunga is the place to go to buy garlands, jasmine flowers and even vethalai’s for the pooja.
What is a festival without some saree indulgences. Matunga is a decent place for a quick fix Silk saree. Mahalakshmi Stores is an old school saree store where you can sit down on a white mattress and he will show you as many sarees as you would like to see. The saree you see below is one I bought from there about two – three years ago. Of course there is Nalli too, which is the golden standard in silk sarees.
Invite Friends Home
Now that you did all the above, it is best to call friends over to celebrate the festival. My go to Book for every festival is this book by Vimala Ramanan. It has all the details on the festival, why it is celebrated and most importantly what to make and how. Every time we bring this book out, it only spells happiness because it means that some yummy fare is being made at home.
Diwali is one of our favorite festivals, as it transforms cities, there is light, there is joy, there is happiness and some great food doing the rounds every year. Since we love far away and have fairly hectic jobs our main aim is to have the frills of celebration with minimal effort.