Lighting diyas, charity and shopping; TV actors make Diwali plans

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As they gear up to celebrate Diwali this year, our favourite TV actors tell us their plans for the festival of lights.

Aniruddh Dave:

Diwali plans for this year is that I am not going to my hometown Jaipur as my parents have come here this time. In the main city of Jaipur, there is amazing lighting done, which looks fabulous. My fondest memory is of my parents taking me to the fair in Jaipur when I was a kid and I used to enjoy the festive atmosphere there. But this time, we all are in Mumbai together so it’s fun.

Gurucharan Singh:

This Diwali, my plan is to give time to myself because otherwise, I’m busy shooting. I’m doing lots of things for everyone but the thing is for the last few months, I’m unable to give time to myself. So, this Diwali I will be giving time to myself. I will plan out everything for my body, mind and even spiritual aspects and even plan for the future. So, this Diwali I will be giving time to myself and to my guru because when you connect with your guru, you realise a lot of things and then your dreams are fulfilled. The best memory of Diwali was when I celebrated it in the train when I came to Mumbai. I remember I was not getting tickets to go back home, the tickets were available only on Diwali day. So, just so that I could fulfil my dreams of the first time in my life, I decided to celebrate Diwali alone and stayed back in Mumbai. Celebrating Diwali in the train with people who I did not know was unique. But still, as we all are Indians, everyone had the same feeling. I think it was 17th November 2007. So, that’s the reason it is memorable for me because that day, I started my journey and after coming to Mumbai, within 6 months, I got a beautiful serial like Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta chasma.

Samir Onkar:

Since the last 7-8 years, I am celebrating Diwali at Rajan Shahi’s place. Our entire family goes there and we celebrate Diwali. The fondest memory is about last year when we were playing cards and I lost a lot of money. This year, I will make sure that I don’t lose and cover up with the money which I lost last year. Diwali is always fun and I hope I create some good memories this year. This will be a special Diwali for me as I have debuted in Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai some days ago, so I am very excited.

Khalid Siddiqui:

Diwali is the time where a lot of positive vibes are around. It’s a moment of joy, it’s time for happiness and excitement. In Eid, everyone comes at my place, so on Diwali, I go to everyone’s house to wish them, which I love the most. When I was a kid, during vacations, I used to go to my hometown Aurangabad and there we used to go to the cinema hall and the whole theatre used to be lit with diyas (lanterns) and it used to look so beautiful. I used to enjoy bursting crackers as well as a kid. It was quite a festive atmosphere, there were lights everywhere, it was such a wonderful feeling of celebrating Diwali in my hometown during vacations. Most of my Diwalis have been awesome, so every year is amazing for me.

Vahbiz Dorabjee:

Well, this time, it’s very exciting. Usually, I go to my hometown Pune but this time my family, my grandmother, everybody’s coming to Mumbai. So, it’s going to be a full house and whenever we are together, it’s only fun. I’m sure we’re going to make many memories. I think every year has been very special by itself because all the card parties, the lights and everything is so much fun. It’s that time of the year when everybody gets together and is in a good mood. So, I don’t know if there is any specific Diwali which is my favourite. I think all of them have been really special. I think it’s going be this one only because for a change my family’s coming here.

Neelu Kohli:

This year there’s going to be no Diwali celebration for me because I’m going to be working. I will be out of the country, so there is no choice of having anything remotely connected to Diwali since I will be in Bangkok. My best Diwali moments are of when I was a little child because Diwali meant crackers, new clothes, celebration, a holiday from studies and I just used to look forward to it as anything. That time, I didn’t even know that crackers were made by little kids. Once I got to know, I was against this entire system of crackers and I still am. My kids stopped using crackers the moment they realised that there was so much of child labour going into it. So now, Diwali means getting my family together which is a little difficult thing because my son is in the Navy and he’s abroad and my daughter is working too. So, for us, Diwali is when we all come together. Probably once I come back on the 24th and my son is back from the ship, we are going to have Diwali.

Munisha Khatwani:

My plans for Diwali are as usual spending time with my family and friends. Diwali for me means a festival of lights and festival of spending a lovely time with the family, enjoying and eating good food, playing cards and going for good parties. It is also about doing good deeds and probably clearing up the house and getting a whole vibration of positivity. So that is the plan for me for this Diwali. The fondest Diwali would be the one when I got pleasantly surprised when my family members came home from Australia once and that was unexpected. They came and surprised me. I think so far that has been the most fondest Diwali memory. Diwali is my favourite festival because I love Lord Ram, he’s my favourite God.

Saurabh Pandey:

It is my first Diwali after marriage so it is very important to me. So, definitely, we are going to Delhi, my hometown, and will be celebrating it with my parents. The whole family is going to be together and we are going to have Laxmi pooja and Ganesh pooja as well. After that, we will go to all our factories and all our different properties to light diyas because it is auspicious. Then the whole family is going to have dinner together. No burning crackers. My fondest Diwali which I remember was when I was a kid and for the first time I heard the noise of crackers. I saw all the nearby houses decorated with lights, and people burning crackers and those colourful sparks at night made me so happy.

Kajol Srivastava:

I will celebrate Diwali with my family. My father has made this rule that no matter where you are and how much you are working, at least, on Diwali, you have to be at home. One year, I was shooting during Diwali and it was the worst Diwali ever. From then, till now, I have promised to myself that no matter what happens, I will be with my family on Diwali. The fondest memory of Diwali is of this one year when there were lots of people at my place and we were playing cards and I won ten thousand rupees and it was the best Diwali ever.

Sneha Wagh:

I have the same plan every year. I celebrate Diwali with my family every year because Diwali has a lot of importance at our place. As I am a Maharashtrian, there is a lot of ‘Faral’ (sweets) made at home, chakli, chivda, karanji, besan ke laddu are made. The preparations start a 1-2 weeks before. Diwali is celebrated in a very traditional way as even the lanterns are homemade. My dad, mom and all us together make it with cardboard and other things. So, Diwali as a festival brings a lot of importance in our family. We don’t burn crackers as I never liked that.

Reyaansh Vir Chdha:

This Diwali I will be celebrating with my mom as last year she was not here. We will be lighting up the whole house with diyas and do pooja. We will go out for dinner with some friends later. The best Diwali I had was with my nani when I was very small. She used to take me to a fair where I use to play all the games and used to enjoy all the rides. My nani used to burst crackers for me as I was scared of crackers. I used to get very happy seeing them. She even used to make my favourite food and sweets to treat me.

Ruslaan Sayed:

I am not sure about my plans for Diwali but usually I have a couple of friends over. Preeti, Gauhar, Nigaar and I chill and play cards on Diwali. I think this time also the same thing will happen. Sometimes I even go to my friends’ places. Usually, I just spend my Dhanteras here and then I fly to Delhi to celebrate Diwali with my friends and family. As everyone in my family is doctors, we do pooja at our clinic and then go shopping. We even feed poor people and then party at night.M y fondest memory is of Diwali’s during my childhood. Every year my mother used to give me something made of gold or diamond. I used to be excited about that every year.

Kishori Shahane Vij :

This Diwali actually is going to be quiet busy for me because one of my plays is opening up on 24th of November which is named as ‘Piano for sale’ so my reversals are not going to take a break even in Diwali so mornings will be busy with them and then my show Ishq Mein Marjawan is going on so again I will  be busy with its shooting there. In Diwali  Lakshmi Puja will be great fun as it’s a family get together in our house so everybody in the family does puja for goddess Lakshmi so that’s the main thing. The fondest memory I have is actually when I was a child maybe around 12 –  13 years old, a teenager in fact, at that time we had gone to a farm of tomatoes and actually we played Tomatina festival over there and it was really good fun instead of bursting crackers we were bursting tomatoes and making some kind of juice so it was really good fun that Diwali. On the other hand, I like a typical traditional Diwali with making rangoli and lighting up diyas so basically coming from a middle-class family makes me value those values to maintain the tradition of life and to make rangoli and lighting up diyas is like there with me always.

Laksh:

Burning crackers is something which every grown-up today has memories of as a child.  But given the environmental conditions, a Diwali without cracker is a good idea as Delhi environment deterioration is already out of control. Delhi has a huge population and crackers are burnt in excess. But Diwali is associated with crackers and there should be a ban on the highly explosive crackers and normal basic crackers like fulzadis or some crackers which contribute less to the pollution should be allowed. The restriction of burning crackers from 8 to 10 pm is a good move. I would celebrate Diwali with my friends and eat everything without worrying about the calorie count.

Shashank Vyas:

I would be busy with my Roop shoot. This Diwali like every year would be celebrated with my father and friends. I would go out with friends also catch up on the latest film. I like the festive spirit. Weather is also good and to see the happiness on everyone’s face perks me up with joy.