Clockwise from top left: Kritika Kamra, Karanvir Bohra, Tina Datta, Vijayendra Kumeria, Urvashi Dholakia, Gurmeet Chaudhary and wife Debina Bonnerjee, Meera Deosthale and Niti Taylor Image Credit: Supplied

Tina Datta

Tina plans to continue all the rituals she has been following every year, except attending parties Image Credit: Supplied

There are a few things that I just have to do every Diwali and that includes making rangoli at my place, buying new stuff for my house, decorating my home, lighting diyas and offering prayers. Wearing new clothes on the day is mandatory. These are rituals I have been following every year and I plan to continue this year too. I guess the only difference this year would be that I will not be attending any parties. I am looking forward to a few close friends dropping by for a small get-together where we will have good food, and chill out.

Tina starred in Uttaran, Karmaphal Daata Shani and Daayan.

Niti Taylor

This is Niti’s first Diwali after marriage Image Credit: Supplied

Since I got married recently, Diwali will be very different this year as I won’t be with my mum and dad. And due to Covid-19, of course, I am really going to miss wishing everyone personally, exchanging Diwali gifts and sweets. I really enjoyed doing all that. But this is my first Diwali after marriage, and my parents-in-law are making it more special as they are coming over to celebrate the festival with us. We can’t go to Gurgaon so they are coming to Ahmedabad – where we are based – and that would be exciting. Four of us will be at home and nothing like being with your family in Diwali. It is the best thing for everyone.

Niti starred in Bade Achhe Lagte Hain, Yeh Hai Aashiqui, Ghulaam, Ishqbaaz and Kaisi Yeh Yaariyan.

Vijayendra Kumeria

While he will be making home-made treats, Vijayendra won’t be exchanging sweets with neighbours “because you never know how comfortable the other person is receiving sweets” Image Credit: Supplied

Diwali this year will essentially be a home affair with family. Of course, we will clean and decorate our house, offer prayers and light lamps but the only difference is we will avoid visiting people’s homes or throw Diwali parties. Even if we are meeting friends, they will be small in number so that everybody is safe. It is actually not very different for me because I normally celebrate Diwali at home. My younger brother and I were raised to believe that we shouldn’t keep the doors to our home locked on Diwali. So we would usually visit friends and relatives’ homes either on the previous day or the following day of Diwali. This year, however, that is the only thing I will miss; it used to be great fun.

Hygiene will be high on my mind this year particularly when it comes to food. While we will be making some sweets at home, I would not be exchanging sweets with neighbours because you never know how comfortable the other person is receiving sweets that are purchased from shops. Maybe we will go for dry fruits or chocolates instead.

Vijayendra starred in Udaan, Shastri Sisters and Naagin.

Urvashi Dholakia

With so many people facing financial difficulties this year, Urvashi has made a pact with herself: “I would not bargain with small-time vendors who sell diyas (lamps) and other stuff” Image Credit: Supplied

This pandemic has left me with a lot of mixed emotions, particularly at this time of the year. In keeping with the times, I don’t want to overspend; I plan to have a very simple Diwali. I am also not in favour of bursting fire crackers. I feel it would be a waste of money during these difficult times. Considering the anxiety and uncertainty that everybody has gone through in 2020 saddens me. There are so many people who have lost their jobs, have no means to make money, so this year I have made a pact with myself – that I would not bargain with small-time vendors who sell diyas (lamps) and other stuff. All I can do is pray for everybody’s happiness and prosperity, hoping that 2021 is much better. I sincerely hope things improve and people are happy.

Urvashi starred in Kasautii Zindagii Kay and Chandrakanta.

Gurmeet Chaudhary and wife Debina Bonnerjee

The couple will be with very close family members in offering prayers and don’t plan to invite any friends over Image Credit: Supplied

This year everything is going to be different for both of us as we just recovered from Covid. Just before Diwali we usually have card parties – that is definitely not happening. On the day of Diwali we finish our prayers, invite friends over and have a fun time enjoying good food and good company. We then put up those videos of all of us dancing and singing. But this year it is going to be consciously different. We won’t be bursting crackers, not only those that make a lot of noise, but even the sparklers as well because these fireworks generate so much smoke that they could affect the lungs of people in the neighbourhood. Both Gurmeet and I still have slight congestion in our lungs. Since there are many Covid-19 patients who are recovering at home, we have decided that we will not do anything that will lead to pollution so that people don’t have breathing problems.

This time only very close family members will join us in offering prayers; we are not planning to invite any friend over. Usually, after prayers at home we would visit extended family members, friends or invite people home. This time it will be only us. And since we are at home and not entertaining any guest, we will prepare and indulge ourselves with delicacies like puri bhaji and nariyal ka laddoo, dress up and take pictures. That will be a different fun. But celebration is going to be complete, no budget cutting there.

Gurmeet starred in Geet and Punar Vivaah: Zindagi Milegi Dobara. Debina starred in Chidiya Ghar.

Kritika Kamra

Kritika is not a big fan of bursting firecrackers during Diwali Image Credit: Supplied

Every Diwali, one of the most important traditions we follow in our family is visit family, friends, neighbours and exchange sweets. That’s something I used to look forward to but sadly I am not sure whether we will be able to do it this year. There have been some relaxation in rules and people are going out and meeting others but everybody needs to be careful and disciplined in the way they behave outdoors. I truly hope everybody is more responsible.

As for the other traditions, like bursting firecrackers, I really am not a big fan of that. I actually hope that [people go a little easy on it] this year because the last thing you want is a strain on your respiratory system in pandemic times. My friends in Delhi told me that even Dussehra was low-key, so I think everything is going to be a little low-key for Diwali as well.

For me, spending time with the family is the best part of Diwali. Lighting lamps, having some good food... all that can – and will – happen.

I have been away from home for way too many years now but during the lockdown, I was with my parents. I went to my hometown, which was a blessing, and spent so much time with my family which I normally never get to do. I have also been working and I have just come back to Mumbai after a two-month shoot in Rajasthan. I plan to catch up with some friends later and do a video call with my parents. I am taking all the precautions since I’m the one who has been travelling while my friends have been home.

I am looking forward to doing some cooking but I will also order in some good food. One thing I am not going to miss is dressing up. Even though I will be at home, I don’t want to miss out on that. I will wear some ethnic stuff. As far as socialising is concerned, I’ll meet up with friends only if it’s a small get-together.

Kritika starred in Kitani Mohabbat Hai and Kuch Toh Log Kahenge.

Karanvir Bohra

Offering prayers is a must for Karanvir this Diwali, but there won’t be evening card games in the house Image Credit: Supplied

This Diwali I will be spending time with my wife, Teejay Sidhu, because we have a new firecracker coming into our life (the couple are expecting their third child). I am planning to have a very quiet but a very beautiful Diwali with our family in Canada. We will be decorating the house and lighting lamps (diyas) and maybe a few sparklers. I do not believe in bursting crackers that make a lot of noise.

One ritual I will surely be observing is of offering prayers. It is something that is a must. However, I will not be following another common tradition of playing card games in the evening. I just feel these are not the right times for card games.

Karanvir starred in Kasautii Zindagii Kay, Dil Se Di Dua…Saubhagyavati Bhava? Naagin 2 and Qubool Hai.

Meera Deosthale

Although restaurants are open and people have started frequenting them, Meera is still not comfortable eating out Image Credit: Supplied

I plan to perform almost all the rituals associated with this festival, including decorating the home, offering prayers, putting rangoli just as I used to on all previous Diwalis. I suppose the only rituals I will not be doing are visiting family and friends, exchanging sweets and gifts. I’m not sure whether those would be acceptable to people during these times.

Previously, Diwali usually meant dinner with my friends. But that, too, is not going to happen this year. Although restaurants are open and people have started frequenting them, I am still not comfortable going out. I am expecting a few close friends to drop by for a meal and that is something I am looking forward to.

As for other traditions like bursting firecrackers, I don’t think I will be doing that as well, as am not too fond of that. This year I plan not to light up even sparklers. I will be respecting the rules in place regarding social distancing and I think we all need to do so to prevent the spread of this virus.

One thing that does make me sad though is that I won’t be able to celebrate my birthday, which falls on November 16 in a big way; this year, the celebrations are going to be pretty subdued.

To get over that and to perk up my mood, I have decided to wear a nice stylish saree, which I have never done before on Diwali and of course, get some beautiful pictures clicked. I have also told my mum to get various snack items from Baroda, our home town. Whether we are able to entertain and serve guests or not, I will definitely relish these mouth-watering delicacies.

Meera starred in Sasural Simar Ka, Dilli Wali Thakur Gurls, Udaan and Vidya.

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