The upcoming Indian festival of lights is one that is special in more than just one way. Coming after the pandemic, when celebrations were muted for a couple of years, this year’s Diwali is one that promises to bring cheer, goodwill, prosperity and joy.
‘Diwali signifies the victory of good over evil and light over darkness,’ says Dr Dhananjay Datar (Jay), Chairman and Managing Director of Al Adil Trading Company.
‘For me Diwali festival holds multiple significances. At one level it reinforces the fact that goodness is the only thing that survives the test of time.
‘At another, it is a time of renewing bonds with family and friends. The festival of light is thus a festival of love, goodness and camaraderie. It means positivity and goodness.’
Even as the Datar household is getting ready to celebrate this important festival, the cheer and bonhomie is clearly palpable in and around the house.
For Jay and his wife Vandana, this is a special Diwali because it is also the first year their daughter-in-law Akanksha will be celebrating the festival in their home.
Excerpts from an interview:
Tell us when does your Diwali preparation start? What do you do as a family to prepare for the festival?
The preparation for Diwali starts well in advance at my home. We take this opportunity to spruce up our house get it spotlessly clean. The home is then well-illuminated with sparkling fairy lights and oil lamps. Our doorways and foyers are decorated with thorans (floral decorations), the floors are covered with beautiful rangoli designs. Overall there is a festive atmosphere. The preparation for pooja is also done in a very systematic manner in order to ensure that the sanctity is maintained at all times.
What are some of the main family rituals you still follow?
Diwali celebration finds completion only with the exchange of gifts. I make it a point to get the right kind of gifts and give them to all my loved ones. It is also the time of the year to shop for new clothes and this is the time when I stock up my wardrobe. Another main ritual that I regularly follow is the exchange of sweets with friends and family members.
This Diwali is going to be special as it is going to be your daughter-in-law’s first Diwali with you all. What are your special plans this year?
Akanksha, my daughter-in-law has already brought in glitter to our celebrations. Along with my wife , Vandana Datar, she is in the forefront making sure that the goodness associated with Diwali is shared. They both have lined up few surprises for all of us and I am all excited for the big days coming up.
What are some of your favourite memories of celebrating Diwali in Dubai?
Dubai is an integral part of my life. It is quite difficult to point out my favourite memories since each and every Diwali that I celebrated here holds special memories for me.