Expect nothing, live frugally on surprise.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Delhi ki Diwali / GIFTAwali- Where to shop in Delhi

Why do people celebrate Diwali? To celebrate the biggest festival of the country, to celebrate the win of good over evil, and so on and so forth. That’s how most people would respond to this question. Now ask them what do they look forward to on Diwali? "Diwali bashes" would echo loud and clear. No, we aren’t talking about the usual get-togethers and Diwali sneh milan samahrohs. The bashes here are bigger and better than the last year for the money spent is big too. And no, a card party is not the only thing that makes people wait for these parties all the year through. For those not so interested in playing cards, there is the dance floor to hit with a live DJ to play the right tracks for a perfect evening. In case dance does not interest them either, then there is a dance group to entertain them while the exotic food is getting ready. And the food is exotic for sure. Says Saket based lawyer Chander Lall, well-known for his Diwali bashes among his circle of friends, "For my parties I don’t go for a caterer.

There are all kinds of cold cuts and all fresh veggies nicely cut and displayed before the guests. They all go and help themselves with the food, making sandwiches or salads, it is all up to them." That’s quite a neat thought now, isn’t it!Diwali, like any other day of celebration calls out for unique, exclusive and trendy ways of celebration rather
SOUTH DELHI Who says gloom in the economy has slowed down the pace of our quotidian lives? The Select CITYWALK in Saket dons a defiant look as it is awash in bright lights and colours and brings in festive tidings. As they say, in times of crisis hope springs eternal
WEST DELHI Think differently; think innovatively, that’s what the funda for exclusive gifting is all about this Diwali. Traditional gift items like dry fruit boxes, glass crockery, quilts and blankets are a big no. So try out these exciting new options and experience the change. "This year the market is flooded with inexpensive yet stupendous Chinese and Italian crockery. As the dry fruit prices are shooting up so the better option is to stuff these crockery sets with Italian toffees. Then here is another very good alternative to those age-old dry fruit box, the same are available covered in caramel. Though they are expensive they exude class," asserts Research Analyst Anubhav.
NORTH DELHI It is rightly said that there is no accounting for taste. And when it comes to one’s gastronomical propensities, things are no different. But if you talk about sweets, well, then North Delhiites give the game away. Their sweet tooth gets the better of everything. With festive season in full swing, North Delhiites are leaving no stone unturned in enjoying themselves to the hilt. And what better way to celebrate the festive spirit than going the whole hog with an amazing variety of sweets, bhalla papdi and kachodis?This time round, NDP decided to trawl through some of the congested bylanes of Old Delhi areas and check out all those shops which are there since the late forties. These shops don’t have a brand name to flaunt; but their undiminished popularity among sweet lovers, vouch for their traditional appeal. NDP zeroed in on five best halwais of the area.Lucky sweetsLocated opposite the now defunct Robin Cinema Lucky Sweets is one of the oldest halwais in the Subzi Mandi area. The sweet shop boasts of tasty milk cake, delicious burfi and yummy peda. "Our shop has stood the test of time for the past 60 years and we have still maintained our services efficiently," says the genial Vidyasagar Bagai, the proud owner of the shop. According to him, he inherited this sweet business as a legacy from his great ancestors. One look at the board would give you a feel of the typical Old Delhi area with ’Lala Lakshman Das Halwai’ written at the top, this being its traditional name. Even celebrities like Kapil Dev, Parveen Kumar (Bhim of the BR Chopra Mahabharat fame) have visited the shop. After tasting all his milk products, NDP would surely give him 10 on 10.
EAST DELHI Mela melee Preet Vihar Diwali Mela Samiti is in its sixth year of organising Diwali Mela. They began organising the event in 2003 as no such melas were happening then in this part of Delhi and people from East Delhi had to go to other places in Delhi to make merry at Diwali melas. A group of 40-50 people joined hands to give East Delhites their own mela. This year the event will be held on October 18-19 behind Preet Vihar petrol pump. It will start at 6 pm and go on till 11.00 pm. There will be various food stalls offering Rajasthani, Awadhi and some lip-smacking Old Delhi dishes. Virendra Aggarwal, a member of the Samiti, says: "Here one can hog on a host of dishes that include paneer tikka, Nandlal ke chole bhature, daal-baati, dal makhni, famous Kure Mal ki kulfi, Benares ki gilori, Lucknow ke vegetable kebabs, gol gappe and much more. Several handicraft, jewellery, garment, diwali gifts and cards stalls will also be set up, mostly by women." Savita Vihar Diwali Mela is on October 19, Sunday. The programme will be made memorable by a magic show, fancy dress show and other cultural programmes by the children of the colony who began rehearsing some ten days earlier so as to deliver their best. There will also be games for adults. Besides various handicraft stalls, there will be several stalls offering food items. B.C. Gupta, a member of Park View Club, that organises the event, says: "We have given a contract to a famous Shahdara halwai, Rajesh, for preparing various delicacies that can be bought against coupons. Arrangements have also been made for rides. At the end of the mela, we will have a lucky draw and the winner of the draw will be given Rs. 10,000. There are several other prizes too." Desh Premi Sewa Sanstha is organising a mela on October 25 at Som Bazaar Ramlila ground, Jhilmil. The timings are 7-11 pm. There will be food stalls of Punjabi, Gujarati and South Indian cuisines. School children will perform dances and even old people will present dance performances, which will be something most awaited by everyone. The entry to the mela is free. Satinder, a member of the Sanstha, says: "We have made good security arrangements and have hired private guards. Some volunteers from the public have also offered their services for security."


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