You’ve probably already made plans for Deepavali — movies, shopping, sweets... The traditional formula stays strong, even in a rapidly changing city. We talk to the heads of some of the city’s most popular businesses to find out what is happening in Chennai this weekend. And to ask them what they’re up to as well. Besides working, of course

Saturday best!

What is Deepavali without new clothes? As we celebrate the day in our crisp new outfits, textile showrooms that looked like balloons about to burst a few days ago, are heaving a sigh of relief. As G.K. Jayaraman, the floor manager of Pothys, T. Nagar, puts it, on Deepavali day, they are “tension-free” after catering to frenzied shoppers for the last few weeks. Jayaraman says they have been doing brisk business from the first week of October. “We get customers from all sections of society. Till the end of October, customers went in for dress materials that they can tailor according to their requirement. But as Deepavali drew closer, there was more demand for readymade clothes,” he says. Textile showrooms hence went all-out to introduce patterns in every variety. And customers lapped it all up. Going by the crowd and the bulging shopping bags, it looks like it’s been a good year for these showrooms. Jayaraman confirms this. “Sales are increasing by the year,” he says.

Big screen fun

There is probably no festival that the film industry adores more than Deepavali. While many things have changed with respect to the festival itself, Deepavali’s connection with movies remains in tact. “I have been in the movie business from 1976 and there is no festival that can come close to Deepavali as far as movies are concerned. It is a very special day for movies. It has been a long-held tradition in this part of the world to watch a movie on this day. It is part of the festival itself. You go to a temple, you wish your friends and watch a movie,” says Abirami Ramanathan, managing director, Abirami Mega Mall.

This Deepavali sees the release of three big films at Abirami Mega Mall. While Arrambam released a couple of days ahead of the festival, Karthi’s All In All Azhagu Raja and Vishal’s Pandianadu releases today. “Nothing has changed. The tradition of watching movies is continuing. I don’t have a single ticket with me until Monday,” says Abirami Ramanathan. What does he do on the festival day? “This is a day when good triumphed over evil, and you look forward to a new year. Of course, I watch the all new releases,” he says.

(Inputs from Akila Kannadasan, Udhav Naig, Lakshmi Krupa and Shonali Muthalaly)