Sparklers, pinwheels, rockets, ladi bombs, mithai, colourful celebrations, fun and laughter… this is the picture of Diwali in so many homes in India.
For us here in London, we try to capture the spirit of Diwali and share it with as many residents of this dear, dear city as possible. This year, we held our brightest, happiest, loudest Diwali celebrations yet, with our good friends at Dinerama. Alongside first-class fare from London’s finest street food traders, we celebrated the festival of light with music and spoken word performances from a selection of outstandingly talented South Asian artists.
We were incredibly humbled and delighted to have the brilliant, Indian-born, London-raised, super-talented musician, composer and sarod player, Soumik Datta headlining our celebrations this year. He totally charmed audiences with his unbearably beautiful tunes on the sarod, and he was also responsible for the finest line-up our Diwali celebrations have ever hosted. It was an honour to work with him and his charity Soumik Datta Arts (SDA), which is dedicated to creating ground-breaking arts projects that bring people together by promoting exceptional talent from under-represented communities.
Thus, to the stage, we welcomed:– Vibs Bhatia, Amrit Kaur Lohia, Saachi Sen, Khiyo and Side Partition. All excellent, all sparkling with talent, and all complemented by spoken word from award-winning Jaspreet Kaur.
And at the end – the audience found their dancing feet, inspired by the awesome tunes from Ryan Lanji – DJ, curator and founder of queer South Asian club night Hungama.
Truly – this was an event to remember. To all who came, thank you. We captured the evening here, so do take a look and tag yourselves if you were there!
Warmest Diwali wishes to all.
With February comes a gladdening of spirits, lighter morning skies and discernibly louder birdsong. It is also the month to bid farewell to our winter cocoons (at least partially) and tune back into the world beyond our blankets. Allow us to ease the de-hibernation process, by sharing some of the things piquing our interest this month.
“Who wants to see some magic?” Chef Arun calls out. He flings the rolled out dough into the air, sending it soaring above the counter. It spins and twists, a graceful dancer in the air. The children watch its arc, their eyes wide with wonder, until it lands gently back in the chef's hands. The children shriek in delight.
January is a most divisive month. For some it heralds the hopeful turning over of new leaves; for others it is a month to trudge begrudgingly through towards the promise of spring. Whichever camp you find yourself in, we have plentiful diversions to share. See them as the cherry atop your already gleeful January cake, or a welcome distraction while you await winter’s end.
I AM HERE, dear reader, slovenly and slouched, staring into my drink at the end of the bar in our new restaurant in Battersea. My mind is still down and out, sifting around in the dregs of ’23 but of course it knows that I should really straighten my back, raise my chin and look squarely up into the cold new light of ’24. My drink – Choti’s Punch – clear and strong, sweet with a little salt, may help.
Dishoom will mark this joyous festival of light on Thursday 28th October 2021, with an all-day event fuelled by finest vegetarian fare and featuring a wonderful line-up of South Asian talent. To read on and to purchase tickets, kindly click here.