As is tradition in the capital, the days leading up to Diwali are celebrated with as much gusto as the festival.
As is tradition in the capital, the days leading up to Diwali are celebrated with as much gusto as the festival. After all, Dilliwalas are quick to don the festive hat and begin the celebration in every manner conceivable: be it card parties, diya-lighting, Rangolis, or simple family gatherings.
For many, it serves as a great opportunity to stock up on things that have been on their wish list for a while — especially because the festival comes after Dhanteras, around which retailers start offering huge discounts. On this, Nandini Agarwal comments, “I am incredibly excited to begin my Diwali shopping, especially so that I can decorate my house with plenty of lights, diyas and candles."
Palak Arora and her family have been hosting card parties for the past 10 years now, and this year things are no different. She says, “I love this time of the year! My relatives come over to play cards and my cousins and I get together and have lots of fun.”
Whereas, for Saurav Das, the coming of Diwali announces an opportunity to create beautiful Rangoli patterns for visitors and passersby to appreciate. Das says, “For many years now, my mother and I make Rangoli outside our house. We also make a separate pattern using rice powder and grains, so that birds like sparrows can feed on it.”
Shirshendu Bhattacharya completely relates to the current ‘Diwali vibe’ and says, “I have started cleaning and decorating my house. The bookshelves, which have gathered a thick layer of dust over the past one-year, are getting a new lease of life. We also have started shopping for the occasion and this year we are going green by not buying any kind of fire crackers.”
Like Shirshendu, there are many people who are planning to celebrate Diwali in an eco-friendly manner this time. “Diwali has always been a very joyous occasion for me, with the whole city being lit up with colourful decorations and firecrackers. But with climate change being a vital issue, I have realised the damage our joy is doing to the environment. This year, I plan on doing my fair share by using only traditional lighting and recycled decorative ornaments. I will also opt for eco-friendly crackers,” says Ankita Hazra, who believes that the joy of Diwali can be experienced in many ways, and everyone should aim for a clean and happy affair.
Nandini concludes by saying, “I am giving back to the environment for all the pollution caused during this time of the year by planting a sapling along with my close relatives.”