To make the festive season more joyous, DARPAN got the charming actress to celebrate Diwali with the readers and share her thoughts on the festival of lights.
Diwali is a festival of lights, of positivity and of family bonding – and actress Vidya Balan agrees. “It is about brightness, about letting go of the darkness, of the fear within,” says the charming lady, who has captured hearts with her beautiful smile, electric personality, and brilliant acting skills.
Vidya Balan is a popular name in Bollywood. With versatile roles in award-winning films such as Parineeta (2005), Paa (2009), Ishqiya (2010), The Dirty Picture (2011), and Kahaani (2012), Vidya’s performance has been revered by audiences and film critics alike. Beyond movies, the National Award-winner is also admired for her dressing sense which comprises mostly of traditional or ethnic sarees, and artistic jewellery. And one cannot forget her captivating smile that adds to her alluring personality. Indeed, there is none like Vidya in the entertainment industry. To make the festive season more joyous, DARPAN got Vidya to celebrate Diwali with the readers and share her thoughts on the festival of lights.
How do you usually celebrate Diwali?
I usually celebrate Diwai with family.
What does the word Diwali mean to you?
For me, Diwali is really about lights. It’s about just meeting near and dear ones, exchanging gifts and sweets. The entire house is lit up; I think that’s what Diwali is. Diwali is about brightness, it’s about letting go of the darkness, of the fear within - which is why we clean our house also. Diwali is very symbolic of getting rid of all unwanted baggage in our lives at this time of the year.
What are you planning for Diwali this year?
Diwali this year is again going to be with family. I’m happy that I am not working or out of town this time for Diwali. I remember two years back I was filming Hamari Adhuri Kahani (2015). This year I’m glad I will be in town with family.
What has been the most memorable Diwali so far?
My highlight Diwali would be the one after my sister Priya got married. She was in Bangalore [now Bengaluru] and she and her husband Kedar suddenly surprised us by coming down for her first Diwali. And now, every Diwali is very exciting because of my sister’s kids – my niece Ira and nephew Ruhaan, who are twins. Their excitement makes us that much more excited for Diwali.
Are you associated with any social work or charitable organization during Diwali?
I am not associated with any organization particularly for Diwali but there are NGOs that make diyas and cards for the festival and I support their efforts by buying those items. My entire family actually – my mom has been doing it for years – so we just follow that tradition.
Tell us a good and not-so-good thing about Diwali, according to you?
The one thing I don’t like about Diwali is the crackers; it’s just extremely annoyingly noisy. It’s exasperating all around you. There’s so much noise that you something feel like running away during Diwali, which shouldn’t be the case. And there is so much air pollution; I wish people did away with crackers.
The good thing about Diwali is that feeling about hope that everyone experiences. The light around you begins to emanate from you. I think there is so much hope at the time of Diwali, everyone feels so positive and that is the thing I enjoy most about Diwali.
What is your favourite Diwali food or snack?
Interestingly, during Diwali, I don’t feel like eating any sweets because you see sweets all around you. I’m more an Indian sweet person. I like sweets that are not too sweet – the coconut barfi which my mom makes for Diwali. When we were kids, it used to be the staple every year. So that’s something that I really enjoy because it’s not too sweet.
Diwali is also a time for fashion, what is festive dressing for you?
Festive times like Diwali call for very bright colours. I love reds, oranges, and yellows and greens at the time of Diwali. I love wearing a big bhindi, my big jhumkas and bangles. It’s nice to see men in kurtas, to see women in salwar kameez, sarees, and ghagra cholis. The Indian wear in full splendour of all kinds – I just enjoy that immensely.
There are a lot of trends associated with Diwali like card parties, themed Diwali parties and so on. Do you follow any of these trends?
I don’t attend any card or theme parties. I think Diwali is about spending time with family and maybe visiting relatives and friends. South Indians consider playing cards inauspicious so I’ve never played cards for Diwali.
Do share a Diwali beauty and style tip.
There is no beauty tip for Diwali as such, just enjoy most of it. One tip is that please keep your saree pallus, ghagras, or dupattas safe in terms of their length – make sure they are not too long as there are lights all around you and its just a hazard.
What are your views on an eco-friendly Diwali?
As far as an eco-friendly Diwali is concerned, I think as long as you can have a noise-free Diwali, it will be great and we can save our environment from the pollution the crackers cause. It would be wonderful. I think we should have just a lot of laughter and joy, and that’s the noise that we should have, not the crackers.
Which project are you working on at the moment? Do share your future plans?
I have just completed work on Kahaani 2 which will release the world over on November 25. So please do watch it. I know there are lots of Indians in Canada who look forward to Hindi films, so please watch my films [laughs]. Begum Jaan is releasing on March 17 which is a historical film set around partition. It’s a very interesting film. I am starting work soon on a Malayalam film which is a biopic on a very respected poetess Kamala Das.
How do you see your journey in Bollywood so far? Which were the best moments, according to you?
God has been really kind, jitne ki umeed ki thi usse bahut jyada paya hai (I have received more than what I expected). My journey so far has been wonderful. Of course there have been ups and downs. I have learnt a lot. I am very grateful for the love, affection and the fame that I enjoy. It’s made the world accessible to me and has made me accessible to the world which is beyond what I could have hoped or prayed for.
What special message would you give readers on Diwali?
I love Canada; I was in Toronto for two months shooting for a film called Kismat Konnection (2008). I have wonderful memories because of the lovely weather, lovely places and people. I remember going to this place called Spicy Garden and I used to go there quite often every time I missed eating some masaledar khana. I’d see Indians all around which was very comforting. So lots of love to everyone. Happy Diwali and Happy New Year. Keep safe and keep happy, and I hope you have a wonderful 2017. God bless.
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