Poker games, salsa socials, programmes for special children… Variety is the name of the game when it comes to Diwali celebrations around the city.

Diwali celebrations can be clichéd or different. Youngsters across the city have been and are planning to celebrate the festival of lights with a slight deviation from tradition but with the essence and spirit of the festival intact.

Fun and frolic

Diwali is about colour, fun, gambling (really!) and, let’s face it, new movie releases! So Shina’s day will involve all these. “A Diwali party inspired by Indian movies, cupcakes with a desi twist and a game of poker instead of the traditional card games is on the cards,” she says. Besides, she also tries to catch the Diwali releases every year. And being entertained by Shah Rukh Khan in a Yash Chopra film does sound like a perfect celebration!

Given the fact that most of us rarely find time for our friends and family courtesy hectic work or academic schedules, Diwali becomes a time to catch up. “A bunch of us pool in money, buy crackers and ensure we are the first to start in our colony. Then we sit for dinner, which is usually pot luck. Around mid-night we freshen up and go on a drive usually along the beach and halt at some place for a second dinner, which is usually dessert. Then we call it a night,” says Rohit Krishna.

While that is a good mix of the traditional and the new, some others take the “new” to another dimension. Like Lourd Vijay Dance Studio’s Colorful Diwali Special Salsa Social today at Star Rock. The event’s Facebook page reads: Lets [sic] have a Green Diwali! Lets [sic] Salsa instead of Fireworks! “The idea is to encourage people to go green this Diwali; dress up colourfully, meet fellow dancers and exchange laughs,” says Arun Bachatero, Regional Head at LVDS and the event organiser.

Special day

For some like Krupa M., Diwali has always been a special day with its purpose of spreading happiness and light fully realised. “Ever since I was three, my Diwali has always beenspent with the kids at Vasantham Special School, the NGO run by my mom. It is a special feeling to help mom and staff at Vasantham sort the new clothes they purchase for the children. The colours that we see in the kids’ faces when they burst crackers make Diwali all the more colourful,” says this lecturer of Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at Sri Ramachandra University and Consultant Speech Language Pathologist at Vasantham. It’s special for the kids too who enjoy having their hands decorated with mehendi and wearing new clothes which they show off to everyone. The celebrations at Vasantham feature magic shows, dance and music. Though these celebrations vary in style and scale, the underlying theme is what the festival stands for – togetherness and happiness.