By Chirag Sharma
Photography: Courtesy World Wide Web
Staying tuned in to our Indian roots adds a distinctive flavour and individuality to our global mindset and avant-garde homes during the festive season...
As we all prepare for Diwali, our décor takes first priority in the milieu of receiving and seeing off a host of friends, relatives, even acquaintances – perhaps the only time when people drop in uniformed and are warmly welcomed.
Certain fundamentals dictate a traditional décor during this auspicious Hindu festival in almost every home. We endeavour to equip you with some convenient spot pointers that will not only enhance your décor in true traditional ambience but also sustain the feelings behind its spiritual significance.
Start by keeping away all contemporary décor items like crystal vases, ashtrays and the like. Use good old earthenware pots and plates. Serve your guests in steel or better still, buy some leaf plates and cups. You are bound to feel the traditional flavour of the festival.
Do away with artificial flowers even if they are an imported bunch of shimmering pink roses! Bring in some fresh flowers everyday. Not great looking bouquets but lovely green and orange torans for the entrance and the puja sthal. Use these torans to frame your doorways and in place of curtains too!
Go on a shopping spree and pick up a beautiful selection of terracotta and brass diyas. Go for any one style – simple and elegant or flamboyant; don’t mix the two. Buy at least six for each room – and that includes the bathroom. If you’d rather have candles – opt only for the colourful floating variety – they retain the traditional flavour. Don’t forget the rangoli; be imaginative and use food grains, flowers, even beads for a unique design instead of rangoli powder. Or you opt for a variety – at the door front and inside too, where you would be having the puja; along with complementary designs in each room holding a smaller display of diyas or floating candles spreading light everywhere.
With great reverence bring indoors the Tulasi plant that is generally outside in the aangan or the balcony and place it near the puja sthal. Decorate it with flowers and rice to which haldi and kumkum has been applied. It is considered very auspicious. Sometimes using only flowers and leaves can be too messy – try different coloured dals and the green moong instead. They look beautiful!
And lastly, there can be no rejoicing without music. Cut out the filmi fare and try some light classical instead – only instrumental. It will create a soothing atmosphere, softly welcoming, while it plays in the background as you hold animated conversations and entertain your guests.