Happy Diwali: Celebs on what the festival of lights mean to them, share celebration plans

Diwali is synonymous to good food, fun and happy times with loved ones. Everyone is looking forward to celebrating the festival of lights this year. Celebrities too have made plans and the countdown has already begun. They talk about what the festival signifies to them and how they are looking forward to making merry:

Anjali Phougat
Diwali symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. My most favourite memory is to celebrate the occasion with my family in India, doing the pooja together and staying up late for fireworks. Feeling really nostalgic thinking about those days… In the US, we celebrate Diwali with friends and it’s an annual tradition to throw a party for Diwali at our place. This is something I am planning to do this time as well but sometime later this year with my friends and family. So I am excited and looking forward to seeing my loved ones soon.

Saurabh Agarwal
Diwali many things to me, I have written a poem that says it all. ‘Har taraf chaka chaundh Dil mai Andhera../Kaisa yeh tyohaar kaisa yeh bakeda../ Bahari saajo sajawat raushani nahi/Man ki Safai Raushani ko darshata hai Dipawali ka tyohaar/ Aao phunke apne Dimaag ke is Ravan ko Aur manayen harsh ulhaas ka yeh tyohaar../ Baharari sajavat ka kya matlab jab apna Dil hi Kala ho,/ Ek deep jalao Pyaar ka, toh Insaan khud ka Roshan ho../  Phir har din hoga tyohaar, /Jalein gay deep aur phootega pyaar ka anaar,/ Diwali phir har din bane gi janaab aur Hoga  khushiyoon ka tyohaar..’ Happy Deepavali, love all irrespective of who they are. As a kid it was a huge celebration for us. It was a great family bonding, all of us cousins used to celebrate it together. As kids, we used to wait for fire crackers and moti choor ka laddu, and we also used to get envelopes with money from our elders. It was great fun. Dussehra onward we used to  start playing cards as a part of our rituals.

Shiny Doshi
Diwali is one of my favourite festivals, because we used to get good long vacations at our grandparents place. Diwali is the time when the entire family used to come together to celebrate. The significance of the occasion is the pooja that we do during this time. I’m a very spiritual person. After the pooja it’s all about bursting crackers. Diwali actually gives a ray of hope to you, fills your heart with joy. And about my favourite memory would be spending time with my notorious brother during our childhood days. Now, we don’t burst crackers but as kids when parents used to get us crackers my brother used to steal my crackers so he could burst them all alone. And I used to fight with him and cry and hide my crackers too (laughs). This is my first Diwali after marriage, so I will most probably be in Mumbai with my family and friends. I’m very excited to do the Laxmi pooja with my in-laws and husband.

Nivedita Basu
Diwali, for us, is obviously about meeting friends and going to their houses for good, adds and laughter. But for the past two years I’ve forgotten what Diwali looks and feels like. Fortunately for Durga Puja, Dussehra and even in Diwali I will be with my mother. She is here in Mumbai with us. We will be following all the standard protocols while enjoying the occasion.