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diwali celebration

Guilt-Free Diwali Pleasures

Think of Diwali and immediately think of vivid fireworks and loud noise. But the ‘Festival of Lights’ is about so much more; Diwali is a time for family, fun and new experiences. Be it the sampling of unusual gourmet delights, a trip on the road less travelled or even experimenting with fashion. Here are some fun ways to avoid environmentally damaging and ethically bereft crackers!

cardsBe A Card

Hindu mythology is replete with wonderful tales, but did you know that the tradition of playing cards during Diwali can be traced back to the Goddess Parvati?  The age-old legend recounts that the powerful Goddess was playing cards with Lord Shiva and was so happy with her winning streak that she declared that whoever played cards on Diwali night would be blessed with prosperity throughout the year. This is a common custom in north India but not seen much in other parts of the country. It’s high time that we put away those toxic sparklers and bring out a deck of cards. The trick is to keep the games simple and involve the whole family. Play with bottle caps or other small objects and don’t make it about funds; focus on fun!

gateways1Great Getaways

Diwali is a government and a school holiday in India so make the most of your days off and fill your festive days with enlightening experiences. Plan a holiday with your friends or family, or even choose to spend time on your own at an exotic destination you have never visited before. If you’re a beach person then head to Goa, Chennai/Pondicherry or the Andamans. Or head off on weekend getaway to a tourist spot near where you live. If you hate the sound of firecrackers, choose a sylvan sanctuary.

partyThe Party

The best way to beat them? Throw a party of epic proportions of course! Let the wine flow along with the kebabs and dance the night away in your festive finery with only a few hundred of your closest family and friends. Firecrackers are expensive, poisonous and bad for everyone involved, except for the manufacturers! Don’t destroy your homeland and our environment for a few minutes of noise. There are so many more ways of lighting up our lives this Diwali, try them!

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Shibi, like the song in ‘West Side Story’, is oh so pretty, witty and bright! Modest too, but we can discuss that later. A Chennai native (34) who now dwells in the capital, there is nothing she loves more than a good story. Except for a good handbag. A self-professed shopaholic with impeccable taste, the young women’s rights lawyer and mother was ‘discovered’ by an Indian Express editor in Chennai at a famous boutique eight years ago and she has not looked back since. Fashion writing allows her to combine her two greatest loves and Shibi has been published in The Hindu, the Indian Express, Femina, Scroll, Bodahub, Hi-Blitz Magazine and many more. A militant optimist, Shibi abhors armchair activism and suggests that everyone ‘Be the Change’ instead of complaining about Modiji. Or run for POTUS – anybody seems better qualified than Trump. She also loves animals and has orchestrated many a doggy/kitty rescue; her most fervent hope is to see the status and treatment of both animals and women improve in India and the world over. Also, she requests you to RECYCLE and to REUSE. Climate change is real, people. Jai Hind!