We caught up with four women riding the Diwali high this unconventional holiday season. The gift of all gifts won’t break the bank this year. But if the warm and fuzzies aren’t enough, we don’t judge—a self-gift is an act of love after all. Let prosperity have a new definition and the classic ‘good over evil’ be a reminder of much-needed faith.
Nicole Conolly Bhatia, Hyderabad
What does Diwali at home mean to you this year?
We’re breaking out of the routine with a low-key Goan sunset on the beach instead of fireworks. With the pandemic as a period of darkness, a light has been shone on what’s most valuable- people in our lives. As a non- Indian, my initial Diwali experience was of extravagance. Now it’s about being present for others instead of giving presents, from being commercialized to going back to true intention.
What makes for a perfect Diwali gift?
I’ve found appreciation for an unexpected phone call or message just to check-in.
What’s on your wish list?
Aish hand spun cotton-wear is perfect for Susegad days. Now more than ever it’s important to support Indian artisans and designers who utilize traditional techniques and materials in their work.
Himani Shah, Mumbai
How will you cherish Diwali at home this year?
The spirit of the festival can never diminish so we’re equally excited about dressing up and eating sweets. It’s going to be an easy Diwali with no rush to travel or send gifts. Decorating becomes personal by not having it done professionally, which has been sweet- a time for family to connect.
What do you hope for?
For life to return to normalcy with travel at whim, meeting friends for coffee and hugging them tight, dressing up and not living in track pants.
What are you gifting yourself this Diwali?
A Rooshad Shroff vase.
Vritti Jadwani, Ahmedabad
How is Diwali at home different from the typical?
The bonus time has made me gorge on good food, more than usual. Lockdown has let us explore creativity to the fullest - decorating for the occasion or putting together a work from home space - it’s been an optimum use of online shopping and using things available at home.
What has remained a constant this Diwali in the midst of all that’s changed?
With everything the world has gone through this year, festivities bring hope. The time may be mellow, but spirits are definitely high.
What can’t you wait to get your hands on this Diwali?
Vanika Choudhary, Mumbai
What's Diwali at home looking like this year?
Decorating using eco-friendly stuff like earthen diyas and fresh flowers, as I’ve seen my mother do back home. This year, I’m using diyas hand painted by Nyrika and Reyan to help the people of a small village in Karnataka. The pandemic has given me time to pause, reflect and put things into perspective— with a conscious effort to not work and spend Diwali at home with my husband, Walnut (our dog) and Agastya, our 13-month-old son!
What is the ideal Diwali present according to you?
I’ll be biased and say the ‘Sequel Hamper Box’ containing delicious, wholesome, plant-based organic treats along with earthen diyas and a 100% natural alcohol-free sanitizer.
Have you browsed through our Diwali edit?
I have and it’s absolutely stunning. I can’t wait to get the Bloom Fringe Necklace by Agaro Jewels.
The fabric of humanity resembles a roaring fire- strong and determined. This festival of lights calls for celebration for all- religious or not. Light a diya for mankind and a radiant future.