Divyanka Tripathi and Vivek Dahiya
‘We decorate our home with eco-friendly and durable options’
Holidays: We won't be able to visit our families this year on, Diwali because we recently went to Chandigarh. And, we have work coming up soon so we would like to stay in quarantine for at least for five days before we start work.
Gifts: Thank God for the remarkable online services we have nowadays. It has become very convenient as there is a variety of options to choose from. We will be sending gifts to our parents, too. The best thing about online services is that we can send things they like to eat. The best thing to gift would be Vitamin C tablets, D3, Zinc and multivitamins...I think this would really be the best one. We want our loved ones to stay fit and healthy.
Sweets: Festivities are incomplete without sweets, so we will be sending mithai to our parents and to our loved ones. We don't need to buy mithai from a shop, Divyanka will be making that at home. The lockdown gave us enough time to pick up a few recipes. And, Divyanka has learnt how to bake and also to make mithai with jaggery and natural sweeteners and we’ll be making healthy treats at home.
Puja: No online puja for us. We do puja at home and decorate our home. Just how we have been doing since ages. The tradition has been passed down by our parents and we stick to the age-old methods.
Firecrackers: We stopped bursting crackers a long time ago, probably in 2015. We celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali and Holi. We light up and decorate our home with eco-friendly and durable options so that they can run for years. We use minimum plastic and after the puja we refrain from disposing plastic waste into river bodies. This has been our practice from pre-COVID days.
Mahhi Vij and Jai Bhanushali
‘We plan to make an elaborate meal at home’
Holidays: We don't have any plans to go for a holiday. We don't have a hometown; our parents live in Mumbai, too.
Gifts: This year, Diwali gifts for our kids (Tara, Rajveer and Khushi) will be new clothes, plus they will have a Diwali celebration. And, we are going put money in their bank accounts, which will help them in future. Other than that, we won't be exchanging or sending gifts online in the times of Covid.
Sweets: We make sweets at home. I am a good cook. On Diwali day, I plan to make an elaborate meal at home and sweets like besan laddoos, coconut barfi and chocolate mousse.
Puja: We will do the puja by ourselves as we are good at it. This year, we will ask our kids to pray for the whole world to be safe. We will also pray for our senior citizens and our parents to be able to step out and lead a very happy life and be surrounded by lots of positivity.
Firecrackers: We will burst a few crackers, because the kids enjoy that. But not as many as earlier...I don't want air pollution and don't want to teach my kids to burn crackers. No card sessions this year at our place either and nor are we going to anyone else’s for that as we want to keep our parents and kids safe.
Debina Bonnerjee and Gurmeet Chowdhary
‘The best gift to give during this pandemic is good wishes’
Holidays: This year we are not planning to travel anywhere during Diwali, because it is very risky.
Gifts: The best gift to give during this pandemic is good wishes for each other to have a Covid-free life. Materialistic things ka koi kaam nahin hai as Covid has made us realise that material things can't give us happiness. We have realised that freedom to venture out and meet people is the best thing one can ask and wish for.
Sweets: This year we have decided to make everything, meals as well as mithai, at home.
Puja: We do puja ourselves at home — be it Ganpati puja or Lakshmi pujan. This year will be no different.
Firecrackers: We will not be bursting crackers this year and also telling people not to burn phooljadis. Noisy firecrackers toh bahut door ki baat hai. Polluted air is not good for anybody as there are so many Covid patients and survivors. Even otherwise it's very important to keep our lungs healthy and avoid pollution. No card sessions this year. We will instead spend time with family at home.