This is probably the most social time of the year in London for Indians. Nothing can compare to the events that happen in the month leading up to Diwali. Not that I’m complaining or anything…. Dressing up, getting out, meeting people, drinking , dancing what’s not to like? But Diwali in Bombay is completely different. It still includes many parties but not at such a scale. We never have Diwali balls in India like we have in London. Diwali parties are usually intimate gatherings of close friends and family…usually house parties with cards, music and good food.
Diwali- Festival of lights. As a child I remember painting many “diyas” (oil lamp, usually made from clay, with a cotton wick dipped in ghee or vegetable oil) I would paint these with my sister and scatter them around the entire house..not just inside, outside too. We would place them on the stairs outside and on or around “rangolis” (colour powder designs). The whole house would look beautiful with all the diyas lit up everywhere, colourful rangolis, fresh flowers and floating candles. I learnt to make rangolis in my bestfriend/neighbour’s house from her housekeeper. Its quite tricky to begin with, but once you understand the right technique and practice it enough, it gets easier. I miss making rangolis with my best friend till date during Diwali.
In a place like London it can get so lonely sometimes. It’s such a contrast from everything back home. So I guess these social events are a good change. Its nice to get out and about and meet new people. It helps now that most of the faces look some what familiar while earlier they were just a big crowd of strangers. What remains same in Bombay and London during Diwali is all the effort that goes in decorating the house, dressing up in indian clothes, prayers with all the family members together, gifts, blessings and an overdose of indian sweets.
Anyway, I love dressing up.. its like I’m still a small girl playing dress up in my mom’s dressing room while she was away. That part of me somehow never grew up. It’s my happy place, so obviously I’m very happy to get all dolled up for these parties. This is what I wore for one of the events. I had bought this saree 3 years back and I still love it.
Tip- make sure if you are buying a net saree, the pleats are pre-stitched. It will save you a lot of time and effort while getting ready.
Saree by Tamanna Punjabi Kapoor. Boutique located in Bandra west, Mumbai.
Platter with flowers and floating candles – from Ikea