Ahead of this weekend’s Deepavali festivities, we caught up with local Indian celebrities Eswari Gunasagar and Narain to find out how they’ll be celebrating the “Festival of Lights”. Read on to find out what a typical day on the Hindu festival is like.
Eswari Gunasagar rose to prominence when she took on the recurring role of Shruti Bhaskar on Channel 5’s Tanglin—Singapore’s longest local drama spanning all four languages (English, Malay, Tamil and Mandarin) produced by Mediacorp. Prior to starring on the hit television series, Eswari was a Miss Vasantham 2011 finalist and a mainstay on the Tamil network, appearing on fan favorite series such as Vetri.
After the Channel 5 drama ended, Eswari took time off from showbiz to focus on her next step. During which, she obtained a Master’s Degree in Mass Communications and co-founded Haus Of Green—a distributor of eco-friendly grass straws alongside Tanglin co-star Sherly Devonne Ng. The idea of bringing grass straws to Singapore came to them one night during dinner, when they discovered their mutual passion for eradicating the use of plastic straws in Singapore, and were discussing an article Ng had read online about eco-friendly grass straws.
Now, Eswari is staging a comeback with a brand new drama titled Thilaaanaa—a spin-off from the drama series Kalaba Kadhala in which she plays the protoganist—just in time for Deepavali. Read on to find out what else she’s been up to and what a typical day during Deepavali looks like in her household.
Tell us about your earliest memory on celebrating Deepavali.
This brings back so many memories! My first Deepavali celebration, that I vividly remember, would be when I was about 6 years old. I was wearing new Indian outfits, and was heading to my grandparents’ place at Jurong, where al of my cousins, uncles and aunts were gathered. It was like a mini festival filled with singing sessions, games and sparklers.
What does Deepavali mean to you?
It’s a time when you get to meet all of your loved ones at the same place—coming together, spending time and laughing your hearts out. It’s like a break from all the stress in life.
How do you prepare for Deepavali?
Cleaning the house is always the first on the list! And then we (siblings) along with my mother, brainstorm on how we can transform our home for Deepavali. We decide on the wall color and curtains, then we head to the respective places to get the stuff. My father does the painting. So, it’s like we become this design committee to transform our home.
How do you usually celebrate Deepavali?
It’s a tradition that we have, no matter how old we are, to gather at our grandparents place for Deepavali. My grandparents are no longer around, but we still gather at their place. It completes our Deepavali. We sing songs, we eat good food, talk and we laugh.
What does a typical day during Deepavali look like in your household?
8am: We take our shower, and morning prayers are done.
11am: Mom starts to cook breakfast—mutton curry with thosai, it’s a must-have for Deepavali. We also give kuihs (bite-sized snacks) to our neighbours.
3pm: We have our uncles and aunts visiting us.
7pm: We get ready to leave for our grandparents’ place.
10pm: We’ll be at our grandparents place eating lots of good food, singing, dancing, and sometimes playing sparklers.
What commodity or activity would your Deepavali celebrations be incomplete without?
Our Deepavali would never be complete if we don’t start the morning with thosai and mutton curry. It just sets the whole Deepavali mood. Trust me, I believe it’s the same for most of the Indian households.