Spirit of Deepavali
> Local celebrities share their festive plans and shed a light on what the occasion means to them
ON SATURDAY, Malaysians will be celebrating Deepavali, one of Hinduism’s main festivals. Spiritually, Deepavali signifies the victory of light over darkness, and of good over evil. We asked a few Malaysian celebrities and entertainers about their Deepavali plans.
Hardee Bee, beatboxer and emcee “Deepavali is a time for bonding with your family and friends.
“Deepavali is also a time to be grateful. I have a lot to be grateful for this year.
“I [opened] for Anirudh Ravichander (a well-known film composer and singer in India), when he held a concert in Kuala Lumpur early this year.
“Anirudh also asked me to provide some beatbox rhythms for the song Nee Kadhalan, for the Tamil movie Remo (starring famous Madras movie star Sivakarthikeyan). I managed to showcase my talent outside Malaysia.”
Revathy Mariappan, TV host “Deepavali is about family, friends and food. Deepavali gives you the opportunity to catch up with your [loved ones] while [eating everything from] thosai to mutton curry.
“Usually, my Deepavali morning starts with a visit to the temple with my husband. Then, we will have breakfast with my parents, followed by lunch with my in-laws.
“When I was a kid, I thought Deepavali was about playing with firecrackers, getting new clothes and money packets. Now as an adult, I understand the real meaning of Deepavali. It is about bringing smiles to others.”
M. Subash Mannan, film director and actor “Besides acting and directing, I also run tuition classes in Banting and Cheras. My students and I are planning to visit an orphanage on the first day of Deepavali.
“On the second day of Deepavali, we will be visiting an old folks’ home. We will be bringing them food and also entertaining them.
“We want to bring cheer and brightness to [people]. Deepavali is about the glow of love and we should be spreading [it] all over the place.”
Alinda A. Alphonse, singer-actress “My aunt passed away early this year so our celebration will be a low-key affair. We might take a trip to the sea.
“When you are a child, Deepavali is all about receiving – from the food, to ‘ang pows’. When you become an adult, your role changes. On Deepavali, you are the one giving to [the young ones].
“I don’t go overboard with buying Deepavali outfits. I just make sure that I wear [at least one new piece of attire] in the morning. It could be something as simple as just getting a new pair of shoes.
“I never forget to take the oil bath and go the temple on Deepavali morning.
“I would like to advise my fans to drive carefully on the road and not to play with fireworks. The last thing you want is an accident.” Aanantha, TV host, radio deejay and actor “I have been taking up yoga and meditation for some time, and last year, I became a vegetarian. “So when I visited people last Deepavali, they were surprised when I did not eat their spicy prawns and their juicy mutton. Some of them teased me for missing out on the delicious food. “But I have [enjoyed] being a vegetarian. My stomach [aches less]. “Deepavali is about forgetting the animosity you have with others, and building a better relationship with everyone around you.”
Shanjey Kumar Perumal, film director “I got married recently. I will soon become a father. According to Indian custom, in the first year of marriage, I should be celebrating Deepavali with my wife’s family in Rawang. “On the second day of Deepavali, I will be going back to Parit Buntar, Perak, to visit my parents. “I must also count my blessings that my film Jagat won the awards for for best director and best film at the recent Malaysian Film Festival. “I have been working hard to make this film a reality for the last 10 years. My attempts have been fruitful.”
Ajith Bhaskar Dass, Indian classical dancer “I have two dance shows coming up. I will be busy rehearsing, but I only take one day off on Deepavali day. My siblings from Kuala Lumpur and Penang will be coming down to Johor Baru to spend the festival with me and my mum. “During my childhood days, my Chinese and Malay friends would visit me. There was a lot of appreciation for each other’s culture then. “These days I do not see this happening and that is not healthy for the community and the country.”