Organize a CRACKER of a Party this Diwali!

Whether you’re in charge of your Society’s get together or you are planning a party at home, with some bright ideas, glitter pens and a few helping hands you can turn your event into the best Diwali ever!

shutterstock_369885725Think theme: Themes get guests to use their imagination. Since a Diwali get-together is usually inclusive of all age-groups pick a theme that works for everyone – a color code – like ‘gold, ‘silver’, ‘sparkle’, ‘ethnic,’ or the eve- popular “Bollywood dance party”, ‘casino’ theme for a card party, or even – ‘come as your favorite mythological character’.

Invites: Get creative: Get the kids in your Society to help you put your invite in a diya and deliver it to each house. Or design an online invite in line with your theme. Brand your party and send count-down emails: “Only three days more for “Diwali Dazzle 2016…”

Décor: Usually the party flows from food to hall to terrace/garden. With lots of kids dashing around, décor is best restricted to colorful cutouts on the walls rather than messable rangolis. You can in strings of electric diyas (available on Amazon), which can be reused year after year. Don’t forget to organize your song playlist.

shutterstock_372619027Entertainment: If it’s a card or casino theme then plan your games accordingly. Tambola is always popular with seniors. Karaoke, antakshiri and charades are great for large groups. Keep a scoreboard and divide guests into teams (Badushahs vs Jamuns or Rams vs Sitas). Kick off the party with these games. Once it’s dark, have an hour of fireworks (ask all guests to bring one unusual firework – for instance there’s one called Submarine which you let off in a bucket of water) and end the evening with some spirited Bollywood dancing.

Bites: With so much activity, it’s best to have large platters of starters and snacks circulating – think chips and chicken nuggets. Keep dinner simple or potluck and just open up all the sweet boxes for dessert. For the bar: a fruit punch for all that can be laced for those who want stronger stuff.

Be generous:  Add a fund-raising element to your party. You can do this quite easily – by raffling off homemade sweet hampers, charging an entrance for those not dressed in theme or fining the losing team. Even a small sum can sponsor ice-creams and brighten the day of kids in an orphanage or home.

Post party: Announce a ‘Best Candid Pic’ contest – mail the chosen entries to all guests to remind them of what a blast they had! 

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I like: the hush in a theatre before the curtain goes up; holing up on the top berth of a train with a good book; “thin” mirrors in fitting rooms; anything by PG Wodehouse; meandering paths on misty mountainsides; hot pakoras on a rainy day. Really hate: ‘running dreams’ where I’m hunted by a faceless enemy; people who borrow books and never return ‘em, smudging my nail polish and mosquitoes (but they love me). I spent 20 years as a Writer, Creative Director and Party Animal in Advertising. These days, when I’m not rereading Wodehouse, trying to lose those last 5 pounds or adding obscure destinations to my bucket list, I function as a book editor and freelance writer in Australia.