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The Buzz Diwali 101 – From Darkness to Light

The triumph of good over evil, light over darkness. This simple sentiment is at the heart of the great festival of Diwali which is celebrated in the Hindu Diaspora all across the world. This year it falls on October 23. In this Diwali 101, everything you ever wanted to know about Diwali – check out the videos.

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Desi World Video of the Day – Pepsi’s Gharwali Diwali

What is Diwali without family? A lot of immigrants who are far from home and family will identify with this Diwali video from Pepsi. Get ready for some emotional tears this festive season – after all, who doesn’t miss home food and hugs and Diwali memories?

We Indians love a good 3 hankie sob to feel really happy!


Diwali Firecrackers – Nostalgia for Indian-Americans

Here we share the wrappers of those lost, long-gone Diwalis when every kid with a handful of fire-crackers was king – yes, power was setting the match to that bichu or anar firecracker!

The art on these wrappers is engaging, amusing and tells so many stories. I wonder who designed these wrappers and where those nameless, unknown artists are today.

Of course, this is art-for-a-moment which is ripped to pieces immediately to get to the all important fireworks. The next morning, after the smoke and burning smell has cleared, these images lie on the floor with the remnants of firecrackers, amidst the ashes.


Can you Photograph God? Ask Manjari Sharma

Goddess Lakshmi sits resplendent on a lotus; Lord Shiva strides atop a vanquished demon; there is Ma Kali, fierce and blood-thirsty, garlanded with the skulls of evil-doers; and Ganesha, calm and peaceful with a bowl of ladoos in his hand.

These are familiar images of Gods and Goddesses that Hindus have worshiped since childhood, and have seen in sacred texts, in temples, in homes, in bazaars and in calendar art.
Now what if I was to tell you that these are not paintings at all but life-size photographs of living human beings in the guise of Gods and Goddesses? That the ferocious Ma Kali is really an artist in real life, Hanuman is a body builder who works in a gym, Ma Saraswati is a television anchor and Lord Brahma is an architect? That Goddess Lakshmi went on to compete in the semi-finals of Miss India 2014, winning the titles of Miss Beautiful Smile and Miss Beautiful Hair?


Diwali in India, in America

“Diwali is one holiday I sorely missed when I lived in the US. I remember visiting the Indian stores in the neighborhood to buy my earthen ‘diyas’ (lamps), calling my cleaning service to come and give our home a professionally cleaned look, buying sweetmeats from wherever it was possible.
But I also remember being alone while performing these rituals. I would sheepishly light the diyas on my deck, the window ledges, and the house entrance, guilty that it was against the rules for being a fire hazard!” Guest Blog – Chatty Divas


Vishal Bhardwaj’s ‘Haider’ – In the Land of Disappeared People

There is a maniac energy about ‘Haider’ – and a maniac desire among viewers to immerse themselves in this film. Yes, a film scribe I know turned up at this advance screening, bleary-eyed and disheveled, suitcase in tow, straight from the airport – rather than miss this first screening of Vishal Bhardwaj’s much awaited film!

It is a brutal, blood-stained Kashmir, etchings of a brooding, bereft landscape, a city of disappeared people. It shows that Shakespeare’s tale of deceit and murder, of treachery and lost ideals is a universal tale and relevant to all humans. Bhardwaj has successfully transported the ill-starred Danish Prince to Kashmir, and made it an indigenous, very authentic Indian tale.