She is what stars are made of. Yes, Raveena Tandon Thadani is a charmer! A doting mother of two kids, diligent wife, social worker, successful actress, national award winner and now a television host with show called Simply Baatein. Assertive, soft interior behind her tough personality, confident and a thorough professional are a few words which best describe this woman. This faultless beauty has been there and done it all with much finesse. Its Diwali time and who better than this Punjabi kudi to throw light on her thoughts about the festival of lights!
Raveena, how do you celebrate the much loved festival Diwali?
Well, I celebrate Diwali the traditional way. Since childhood it’s been spending time and having fun with family and friends on the festival. Having a Lakshmi Puja at home, go to close friends place to gifting and fireworks. I like to only play with Phuljhadi and chakri instead of the endless, thousands of strings of diwali bombs. I prefer to have it noiseless and pollution free as possible. My kids and I go to an orphanage and I have taught my kids to spend all the money that they get during Diwali from the elders to donate to the children at varied orphanages. This way we celebrate the festival by being responsible and being together with all our loved ones.
What does the word Diwali mean to you?
Diwali is associated with puja on the Diwali evening, inviting friends over, visiting our relatives from both the sides mine and Anil’s. And thereafter all of us get together at common place for the dinner until late. It means to have your loved ones around you while celebrating the festival of lights!
What are you planning for Diwali this year?
There will be [a] home Puja like every year, visiting an orphanage and spending time with the kith n kin.
What has been your most memorable Diwali so far?
There are plenty of good memories associated with Diwali. The festival almost always falls around my birthday every year. So it means double gifts for me each year. The best Diwali was when I got engaged, because my birthday was on 26 October and Diwali was on 25th, and that’s when I had got engaged as well. Anil had thrown an impromptu party and it was the best surprise or celebration.
Are you associated with any social work or charitable organization during Diwali?
We visit various orphanages across
Mumbai during Diwali. This has been a ritual since childhood. We spend time with the kids at the orphanage and give them the money that we get as kharchi from the elders. And from my mother putting this habit in me to now my kids following it, it’s a much-looked forward to practice.
Tell us a good and a not-so-good thing about Diwali, according to you.
The best part of the festival is the festive ambience. There is a nip in the air, every road and each house is lit up and decorated gorgeously. Gifting, greeting and happy smiles everywhere! I simply love it! There is immense romance in the air. And to top it all are the innumerable parties I get to attend. It is eleven days of celebration from Dusshera leading upto the final day of the festival Diwali. The not-so-good part would be the unnecessary expenditure [on] firecrackers resulting in pollution and disturbing people’s sleep. The show off on the massive fireworks is uncalled for and means simply blowing up your money in the air. Instead just buy school books or feed the needy kids. After all the spirit of Diwali is giving!
What is your favorite Diwali food or snack?
I love Indian sweets and relish them during the festival. I also love the gujrati snacks like khakra, dhokla etc which are less oily or not deep fried. I make gulab jamuns for my family during diwali, they are easy to make and the family loves it too.
Diwali is also a time for fashion, what is Diwali dressing for you?
I almost always end up wearing red for Diwali and Karwa Chauth, it’s like a trademark hue for me. I like wearing traditional attires during diwali, but I avoid wearing a sari because it is difficult to move around with fireworks all around and to having to manage the kids alongside in the clothing. I prefer to wear salwar kameez or anarkalis for Diwali.
Diwali card parties have become a huge rage over the last few years, are you party to it as well?
I am not much into cards. I go for a lot of parties though. We just play with the youngsters for shagun with little money for a bit, just to kick-off the festive mood. I enjoy the food at the card parties besides catching up with people and having a memorable time.
Tell us about your new show on television. Did you have to do any homework for it? Also, which movies are you currently working on?
My television show has been really well accepted by people. Someone from the ministry complimented me on the show. It is not a serious show, but very inspiring and with a message. It is about the victims and how they overcome issues. Yes I had to do my homework, as I need to be responsible of what I am saying or presenting on screen. I need to know who and what we are dealing with! Onir’s film Shab is shaping up well, I just completed a schedule and we have the next in January. I am doing a friendly appearance in Bombay Velvet.
How do you balance work and personal life?
I have been around, doing friendly appearances in movies. I did Telugu films too. Recently I was offered a very powerful role in a Kanad film which I had to let go of due to lack of time. Yes, I need to balance out time between work and kids. Thankfully, my in-laws are a huge support with the kids as we stay with my parents-in-law. Also my parents come around often. I cannot take up too much work as the kids need to be helped with their exams so I have to chalk out my schedule keeping everything in mind.
You are glowing and looking extremely fit for a mother of two. How do you do it?
Thank you. But I have not been to the gym in 3 months. But I try to work out whenever I can and train for two hours when I do. I also watch what I eat, keeping a tab on your diet helps tremendously.
Image Courtesy of: Raveena Tandon, Dipti Amisha Jewellery, Oro Platinum Bangles