Diwali defines the brightness of India’s soul. In the social landscape, no other festival exemplifies the union of diversity better than Diwali. And, no, even the nosediving GDP (down to five per cent in the first quarter of the fiscal year) has not dampened the festive spirit much.
Car sales that were idling on the road until recently have stepped on the gas. The creative industry is being resourceful and getting skill upgrades to revive its cautious markets. Innovations and reinventions are perking up sales figures across segments. The fashion sector, whose wallet wardrobe malfunction this year depressed the shining happy people, is looking at a decent turnover.
The luxury goods segment is still in a slump, but the food and beverage industry is more than making up for it. New delights such as edible diyas and champagne chocolates are wooing the palate. Origami splendour and footwear iridescent with Swarovski crystals are the latest attractions on the must-have list this Diwali.
Customisation has taken centre stage this October. Personalised fragrances, bespoke sweets and gifts made to order are seducing choosy buyers. In case you are still undecided about what to gift or buy and how to be the ideal host, here is a little bit of everything that will make your Diwali perfectly bright.
Like every year, Shivam Sehgal, owner of The Marketplace, Delhi, will light hundreds of diyas. But this time around, he will be eating them too. Surprised? Shivam’s Chocolate Diyas are a version of chocolate barfi made of mawa, chocolate powder, dry fruits, sugar, rose water, ghee and molten chocolate. There is also the rocket pop, a cake with fondant, besides the tradition-rich dose of syrupy golden jalebis. Included in the buffet as special offerings. Price: Rs 699 onwards @ The Marketplace, Delhi
Laden with pure ghee, Moong Dal Halwa, a delicacy of Rajasthan, is the newest festive offering at Swad Desh Videsh. Topped with almond and pistachio shavings and served in earthen bowls, it’s a sinful must-have. Price: Rs 255 @ Swad Desh Videsh, Delhi
ONE OF THEIR FAVOURITE THINGS
Kazem and Christine Samandari
It’s the sweetest thing they do together every Diwali, enjoying the rich taste of Royal Chocolate. It’s an annual ritual of togetherness which has marked 44 years of marriage. “We have different preferences but our hearts agree on one thing—the Royal Chocolate. Its dark chocolate shell filled with fluffy milk chocolate mousse on a crunchy base is delectable. If you’re in the mood for something non-traditional, give this chocolate a chance,” says Kazem, adding that a lot of people are swapping cakes for mithai, especially families with children. Price: Rs 2,020 onwards @ L’Opera, Delhi
ONE OF THEIR FAVOURITE THINGS
The Baileys Kulfi is his latest innovation. The old world synergy of Daryaganj meets a tipsy modern twist on the kulfi drip tray. Says the man, “Drinks and Diwali go hand in hand and while last year there were more of chocolate and liquor infusions, this is the year of indian mithai and alcohol amalgamations.” Price: Rs 229 @ Daryaganj
A sweet high
The botanically inspired Bijoux Artisanal Chocolates and Confections come in flavours such as cherry blossom, earl grey, lavender, matcha and rose. These handpainted Belgian chocolates are customisable. You can also order boozy flavours such as kahlua, amaretto, old monk, port wine and orange, whiskey, chelada (beer and lime), baileys, raspberry rose champagne, and more. Special packaging is also available. Price: Rs 1,125 per box @ bijoux_chocolates (Instagram); Contact: 96503 24187
The chocolate tree
Sprinkled with pistachio and dried rose petals, this is handcrafted chocolate bark. One can choose a white, milk or dark chocolate as their base in addition to toppings of their choice from the long list of ingredients such as gems, sprinkles, walnuts, raisins, cookies, chocolate chips, hazelnuts... even popcorn. Price: Rs 600 for a box of rose and pistachio @ Cocoabarks (Instagram)
Satisfying, but not too sweet, the Smoked Deconstructed Baklava is made with filo pastry, walnuts, orange blossom, honey syrup and vanilla ice-cream. Price: Rs 475 @ Ditas, Delhi
A crust of wood-fired pizza topped with jalebis oozing their sugary deliciousness—the Jalebi pizza is finished off with almond shavings and sugar dust as an indulgent top-up.
Price: Rs 199 @ Friction The Drinkery, Delhi
A new-age spin on a favourite winter snack, Cheeky Chikki Baked Yogurt throws in gajak, chikki and yogurt. Price: Rs 275 @ Maachis, Delhi
These redolent baked herbs in a jar form homemade Rosemary bite-sized cookies. And the best part is that it is sans preservatives. You can ask for a petite, medium or grand jar as per your needs. These munchies have a shelf-life of six months. Price: Rs 290-490 @ Mosbakery.in
It’s a Date
These premium chocolate-filled dates come coated with three different types of chocolates, namely Rose Valley, Dark, and Milk & White. Packed in a festive box with a kaleidoscope of colours, the presentation compliments the deliciousness. Price: Rs 1,399-1,799 @ Thedatehouse.com
Tandoori rasgullas did someone say? This new-age originality is crisp and sweet, with a combination of sweet curd, rabri and saffron. Price: Rs 349 @ Imperial Spice, Delhi
ONE OF THEIR FAVOURITE THINGS
Founder and MD, Massive Restaurants Pvt Ltd
“Our condensed milk ice cream dipped in berry cream and khus falooda is an insane melange of perfectly concocted flavours meant for Diwali. Fusion desserts became a rage last year and haven’t lost sheen yet. This year too, we give you the Mango Rasgulla, Crispy Nukkad Jalebi and Ras Dates Malai.”
This brass urli (with stands) can be used for floating flowers or diyas. One can also place planters within them after Diwali. But it should be kept in mind not to use detergents or chemicals on them. Price: Rs 5,990 @ Thedecorremedy.com; TheDecorRemedy (Instagram)
A mixed bag
Handcrafted selections of some of the best house masterpieces have been put into Marriott’s limited-edition artisanal hampers. Pralines, bonbons, cookies, florentines and tarts to traditional naankhatai, laddoos and more, these come in a specially designed box. Price: Rs 5,000, plus taxes per box @ Hyderabad, Chennai, Indore, Mumbai, Jaipur, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune and Delhi
Foodhall’s Arsh Hamper boasts gourmet salted caramel rochers, orange and mixed seed florentines, honey-roasted almonds, pine nuts, and pecan nuts.
Price: Rs 2,500 onwards @ Foodhall, Delhi
You’ve had green tea. Now apply it too. The Body Shop’s Fuji Green Tea Essential Collection comes with the benefits of bioactive compounds contained within the tea. There is a shower gel, a body scrub, body butter, soap and bath lily green scrubber. Price: Rs 2,180 @ The Body Shop stores; Thebodyshop.in
Kama Ayurveda Divine Beauty festive box packs in the properties of Kanauj Rose and Madurai Jasmine—a rose and jasmine face cleanser, pure rose water, rose and jasmine body cleanser, rose and jasmine body moisturiser, rose and jasmine hair cleanser, and rose and jasmine hair conditioner. There is also the bestselling Radiance box. Price: Rs 1,860 and Rs 3,620 respectively @ Kama Ayurveda stores; Kamaayurveda.com
The Executive Box goes all-out exotic with sesame sablés, gianduja praline, pistachio raspberry macaroon, coconut jam tart, double chocolate dust cookies, chocolate truffle gold dust, raspberry pistachio friand, patisa, granola bar, single-origin chocolate truffle, Sichuan pepper cashew nut and peanut cake. Price: Rs 4,850 @ Sidewalk, Hyatt Regency Delhi
Whether it’s a night of cards, a cocktail or a pre-Diwali bash, Beau Monde’s Fairytale collection makes for a host of modish clutches. Our favourite is this one with mother of pearl and semi-precious stone embellishments as 3D flowers.
Price: Rs 6,500 @ Beau Monde, Delhi
Luxury in a Cup
Teabox is ready with its Diwali gift packs comprising a handpicked selection of teas from India and Nepal. There are single-origin teas from over 150 tea gardens across Darjeeling, Assam, Kangra, the Nilgiris, and Nepal. You can also cool off with their iced teas, flavoured and non-flavoured blends too. Price: Starts at Rs 599 @Teabox.com
Inspired by a bouquet of wildflowers, the bag is an interplay of a 3D floral rendition on textile. These are mostly made of upcycled material. The bag is made from blended fabric quilted with a layer of felt. It has a top zip closure and a metal sling. Price: Rs 4,500 @ Puregheedesigns.com
Formulate your scent with MyPerfume as an exclusive gift. They give you numerous notes to choose from. Price: Rs999 to Rs 9,999 @ Myperfume.com
Locked with Fragrance
Paro’s Drisana Itr locket, rendered from rock crystal, is set in a meenakari cage offering a custom blend fragrance from Paro Botanica. Price on request @ Parobygoodearth on Instagram
The Country Roses ceramic tea set comes with six cups and saucers with illustrations of roses in dual-tone. It’s finished off with a golden handle and a base. Packed in a matching design gift box, it’s made for a charming ensemble. Price: Rs 4,200 @ Brand stores in Delhi; Thedecorkart.com
ONE OF THEIR FAVOURITE THINGS
Anahita N Dhondy
Chef-Partner, SodaBottleOpenerWala, CyberHub, Gurgaon
A memory that stirs nostalgia. Mom’s aloo poori (a very UP thing) and kheer.
Kaju katli and kot gulab jamun
A way in which Diwali is different today from earlier?
We had a lot more elders around to celebrate with.
What will you wear?
I usually wear silk because it gets a bit cold, but last year I wore a beautiful bandhani gota sari. Let’s see if I change my mind this year, too.
Anything special this year?
We bought a new home so very excited about decorating and celebrating in it.
A person you miss most today.
My grandfather, because we used to play cards together. He would win all rounds but give the money to us.
diya, votives, candles etc minimalistic touch
Subtle and elegant, the Ravel Candle Pot Bowls and the Five-Lit Candle Holder are the newest launches by IAAH. The former is crafted in brass and is available in three sizes. The latter comes in a gold and silver finish on aluminium and brass. Price: Rs 3,495 (small) and Rs4,995 respectively @ IAAH, Delhi
Intricately crafted candle stands, in addition to centrepieces, and dinnerware are a part of Ravissant’s
Imperial Collection embellished with semi-malachite
and lapis. Price: Rs 8,000-2,00,000 @ Ravissant, Delhi
The fragrant Pied-a-Terre single-wick candle is scented with French Tuberose, Jasmine, Geranium and Orange Flower. The candle is made from premium soy wax and has a lead-free wick. Its gold-toned glass comes in the signature box. Price: On request @ Seetu Kohli Home, Delhi
This is a hinged brass Chirag Dhuni decorated with an intricate floral jaal. Place charcoal embers and powdered resin in the fumer, streaming fragrant smoke around the house. Use as a daily ritual at dawn and dusk. Price: Rs 4,600 @ Good Earth stores, Delhi; Goodearth.in
Here is a limited edition Lord Ganesha sculpture crafted in porcelain with a matte finish and gloss accents in gold lustre and matte effects. Handmade flowers add to the glory. Price: Rs 4,75,000.00 @ Lladro.com
Lighten up, Brighten Up
Martina Hurricane Candle Lamps are a good way to up the ante on a sophisticated main room. Price: Rs 2,700 @ 55luxe.com
Reshmi Dey, the dynamic founder of Glass Sutra, has worked on a line of lighting and accessories called Pabloligero, especially for Diwali. This borrows from the celebrated Spanish painter Pablo Picasso’s artwork, The Kitchen. Price: Rs 43,000 @ Glasssutra.com, Delhi
The Elegant Stand
‘Arthur’ Gold Candle Holder with its tapered form is finished off with metal and glass. Price: Rs 3,750 @ Thedecorkart.com
This Diwali you can light up your garden or home with the multi-lotus T-light with a glass votive cage. Price: Rs 2,950 @ Etc, Etc & Other Things, Delhi
Whiff of Nature
Rose and Oudh Luxury Copper candle by Ohria Ayurveda soaks in the essence of rose petals. Agarwood, known to work on reducing stress, has also been incorporated. Natural soy wax, coconut and carnauba have been set using beeswax. Price: Rs 1,250 @ Ohriaayurveda.com