Diwali 2018: These six celebrities have a blast, sans the patakas
Have a crackling Diwali, minus the noise. Here's how six celebrities keep it awesome without the patakas
What's Diwali without crackers? With all the noise that the hashtag #nocrackers is making on social media, a lot of people are making a conscious effort to have a smokeless, noiseless and safe festival for all.
Party style: Go green
Dabboo Ratnani, Photographer
Diwali for me: It is all about the family and getting to spend time with my wife and kids Myrah, Kiara and Shivaan. It's also a time when we are less strict with our eating habits!
Pre-diwali: My kids start making Diwali decoration at their art class by recycling things from home. The eco-friendly diyas and lanterns are an integral part of the décor.
On the day: We begin with Pooja at our home and the studio and often plan a brunch or dinner outside. Lunch is usually at my mother's place with the traditional Sindhi curry and tuk. I love sweets, so I look forward to this time of the year.
Pro-tip from the host: Call friends and family over or go visit and be the change you want to see.
Party style: Eco-friendly and healthy
Meghna Pant, author
Diwali for me: It is a time of reflection, of cleansing, and of focusing on what's important: family. Family and a few close friends are invited, organic food is cooked, eco-friendly diyas and phulajhadis lend spark and children are told stories of the legend of Ramayana, of the ultimate triumph of good versus evil.
Pre-diwali: I prepare weeks in advance by cleansing my home and life of anything associated with evil: dust, unnecessary baggage, negative energy, toxic people and tying up loose ends. I begin giving away all that is unnecessary in my life but necessary in someone else's.
On the day: It's all about the food. I keep it simple: I cook what's possible and sometimes order in. The idea is to have people well fed. Since everyone is so health-conscious now, samosas, aloo tikkis and kachoris are no longer devoured. So that's replaced with healthier options like baked namak para, date and amaranth laddoos, baked almond kofta, baked aloo tikki and sugar free barfi. I try to use as much almond flour and coconut flour, bajra, nuts and dried fruits as is feasible.
Pro-tip from the host: Don't be hard on yourself, people are coming to celebrate not judge, things will go wrong so be calm, enjoy yourself.
Party style: Keep it traditional
Shalmali Kholgade, Singer
Diwali for me: I love making rangoli and lighting diyas every evening. It's about visiting friends and family, and going on the terrace and taking in all the lights - it's bliss.
Pre-diwali: The prep starts two weeks in advance with a clean-up, ensuring every corner is spick and span. Then, there is shopping for diyas, kandils and new clothes.
On the day: The house is beautifully lit with diyas and scented candles. A traditional toran and rangoli at the door is a must. We avoid darkness in the house and there are homemade 'Faraal' to feast on. I personally love the traditional karanji and besan ladoos.
Pro-tip from the host: Organising board games is a great idea.
Party style: Teetotaler
Gautam Gambhir, Cricketer
Diwali for me: When I was a kid, Diwali meant lots of fun-filled things: vacations from school, sweets, meals, shopping for new clothes, grooming to look sharp. When I moved out of Delhi to play cricket, it was depressing to be away from the family during festival time. Now, as a young father, Diwali means the joy of giving and bringing smiles to as many faces as possible.
Pre-diwali: My wife Natasha is a master of festive preparations and she starts weeks before with cleaning and updating the upholstery, buying gifts for the family and shopping for new clothes.
On the day: We make it a point that everyone is in their new clothes on Diwali. This is followed by exchanging gifts with a select few. We don't often host a party but attend a few. I desist alcohol and hate when people serve the same on Diwali parties, not because I am a teetotaler but because there are kids around and that's never a good thought.
Party style: Meet and greet
Karen Thacker, TV actor
Diwali for me: It has always been about meeting friends and family.
Pre-diwali: It starts with cleaning to make the house as good as new. It's fun because you end up finding thing you'd completely forgotten about.
On the day: My Diwali party is known for people coming over and chatting over chole bhature, chaat, mawa kachori and lassi, all in the backdrop of lots of scented candles and mitti ka diyas. The party then moves on to card games.
Pro-tip from the host: Don't be inattentive towards your guests.
Party style: Spread the smile
Ranveer Brar, Chef
Diwali for me: It is all about indulging in traditional sweets, feeling happy and spreading the smiles to whoever you possibly can.
Pre-diwali: It's all about curating the menu and identifying a cause to be associated with. We pick up one cause and support it. For the last two years we've been doing smiling meals - it's giving food packets to the children who come along with flower vendors. We arrange to distribute food packets across Mumbai.
On the day: My Diwali party for all obvious reasons is known for its desserts. People come after they are done visiting other parties to end the night on a sweet note. There's kalakand, kalakand eclairs, jalebi, dudh ke laddoo, balushahis and a whole lot more.
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