Happy Diwali!! It’s a joyous time of year and amidst the hectic schedule of Diwali cleaning, gifting, and visiting family and friends, perhaps you are feeling slightly overwhelmed. Hence, I spoke to a number of influencers to help you sort your last-minute celebration so you can have an awesome Diwali!
When you are racing against the clock with no idea how to gift something meaningful and memorable, an easy solution is a gift card. Subscription services for monthly delivery of books, beauty items, meal plans and more, are appreciated across the board. Another great idea is a donation gift card made out to an NGO of the receiver’s choice – it’s a win-win on all ends! Experiential gift vouchers are also highly appreciated. These include travel vouchers, meals by award-winning chefs, activity vouchers such as for rock-climbing, an art or dance class, escape rooms, and much more.
Comedian and content creator Divyanshi Mishra (@divyanshi_mishra3) feels a thoughtful gift idea is a Zara gift voucher, as people can buy themselves what they want from this popular high street brand. “I’m also saying this because this is what I want!” she laughs. Aashi Adani (@aashiadani), beauty and lifestyle content creator, agrees with the importance of giving something that will be appreciated by the receiver because, “It adds a touch of warmth and personality to their Diwali celebration.”
Poet and actor Ruchika Lohiya (@__chikka) believes that making memories together is the best possible gift one can give. She recommends simple things like donning matching attire to capture in photographs, and each person keeping one. Riya Thomas (@imriyathomas), who is best known for her mini vlogs sharing candid glimpses of her life, agrees. She shares, “I feel my friends love experiences more than anything. So, I’d like to take them out for dinner, or to a salon where we could sit for hours and bond.”
Lifestyle influencer and posing coach Niharika Jain (@_niharikajain) feels an easy last-minute gift is an indoor plant. Fashion and beauty content creator Ria Amin (@theriaamin) says you can never go wrong with Lakshmi or Ganesha idols as gifts.
Fashion and lifestyle influencer, Varun Agrawal (@settlesubtle) has a unique idea that can be implemented even after Diwali. According to him, the most precious gift you can give in this digital age is your own time. Hence, Agrawal has started a tradition called the ‘PDDP (Post Diwali Diwali Party)’. “In our fast-paced world, organising such an event is a gift in itself. Trust me, it demands my all to make it happen!” he laughs.
Some would say the focal point of a Diwali celebration is the delicious food associated with it. While Priyanshu Modi @priyaansshu, a digital creator who makes short films on Instagram, loves street food delights like chaat, others prefer savoury snacks like chakli, namak pare and samosas, and special Diwali sweet treats like kaju katli and motichoor ladoo.
So, what are the foods our favourite influencers plan to serve for last-minute Diwali parties?
Aashi Adani says she would pop into her nearest halwai store to buy snacks like dhoklas, kachoris and sweets like rabdi in pre-packaged bowls that can be eaten as finger foods while ensuring that tummies are full. Varun Agrawal would rely on Zomato’s delivery service to make his party planning is stress-free.
Mumbai-based content creator and entrepreneur Vandana Pathak (@vandanapathak26), says, “Even though I am Maharashtrian by heritage, my household embodies the essence of Gujarati culture. Consequently, our preferred snack choice has become mathia, a unique type of papad, which is always stocked in our freezer. As for our main course, the most convenient option is ordering in, given the easy accessibility of various dishes.”
Gurugram-based Nishchay Verma (@nishchay.verma), who is best known for his comedic content shares, “It’s easy to serve evergreen items like chatpati aloo tikki and rabri jalebi, even last minute.”
Riya Thomas relies on items that are quick and easy to prepare at home, such as samosas, french fries, fruit chaat, paneer tikka, lassi, kheer, and coconut barfi. She explains, “I’ve seen my mother make these with ease using simple ingredients. These days, we also have ready-to-eat instant mixes for these dishes, which are great for single people and those who don’t have much cooking experience.” Ruchika Lohiya also credits her last-minute food ideas to her mother from whom she has learnt to prepare items like besan ke ladoo and corn chaat, in under 15 minutes. “Corn chaat is so easy to make and I can serve it in cones with grated cheese on top. It looks good and tastes yum!” she smiles.
If it has fallen on you to organise a last-minute Diwali party, don’t lose your sleep! There is plenty you can do with just a few hours to go. Take tips from lifestyle and travel blogger Karishma Rawat (@karishmarawat), who enjoys making marigold flower garlands with her mother, and then decorating all the doors and windows of their home with them, and with diyas. If you don’t have diyas handy, order some fairy lights on Amazon or light up candles you have lying around.
Ruchika Lohiya shares, “I want my parties to look grand, so even if I have just one day, I would still call an event planner and hand over all the decor and stuff to them because I know they will do the best job. I’ll order food from our favourite restaurant, and that’s all it takes to put together a good party. I love being known as a good party host!”
Priyanshu Modi agrees that with just a day left to prepare, one should focus only on the decor, games, and food sourcing. He believes these elements are essential for a successful Diwali gathering, and once those are in place, you can send out the invitations. For end moment party plans, Nishchay Verma rallies the troops, by hitting up his cousins and buddies for help. He doesn’t hesitate to delegate tasks to complete Diwali prep lightning-fast. He laughs, “We’ll have a designated food guru, a decoration diva, and an invitation aficionado, and I’ll play the boss (just good vibes) to make it all hilariously memorable and epic!”
It’s always fun to express oneself through fashion, and the festive season presents plenty of opportunities to play dress-up. However, when there is no time to spare to go shopping for a new outfit, the easiest thing to do is shop your own wardrobe to re-wear, repurpose or restyle old pieces in new ways. This allows you to be sustainable with your life choices while still looking fashionable! Karishma Rawat asserts, “You don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe every festive season. You can always buy a few new pieces and mix and match them with your existing wardrobe.”
Niharika Jain shares, “Styling for card parties and other Diwali events is all about balancing tradition and modernity. I love combining traditional ethnic wear with trendy accessories, like statement jewellery and stylish footwear, to create a fashionable yet cultural look.”
Vandana Pathak also finds joy in shopping her own closet, “Shopping your own wardrobe is personal, sustainable, and helps you to create the best memories, making every Diwali special,” she shares.
Ria Amin shares her advice on creating new looks with existing items from one’s wardrobe. All one has to do is invest in timeless ethnic garments such as sarees, salwar suits, and kurtas in neutral hues like beiges, creams or whites, that can be re-worn many times. Pair them with bottoms that go well with a variety of tops and kurtas and buy a statement bag that goes with many looks. Divyanshi Mishra feels sarees are your best bet for festive season dressing.
Here are the looks I wore this Diwali season ranging from trendy to ethnic to super traditional. Every outfit has been designed by Harleen Anand Couture. Do share your last-minute Diwali celebration ideas in the comments below. Wishing you a very Happy Diwali!
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