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.
IT HAS BEEN an annual December habit of mine, these past ten years since we embarked upon this restaurant business, to sit alone, with myself, and reflect on the year gone by. I am grateful to be here in the Permit Room in our restaurant in Shoreditch scribbling and writing, the oddly enjoyable taste of splintering wood from my chewed up pencil smoothed by my decently strong drink.
These are the last few days, the dregs of 2019. It’s my habit to sit here in the Permit Room at this time. I am the be-stubbled and dishevelled regular, cherishing his precious drink at the end of the bar. Weary, I sit here pondering the year, attempting to figure out what it was trying to teach me. What wisdom can I glean from it?
I love to truly understand and appreciate the origins of a dish, and learn how communities have adapted a recipe over time to make that dish unique to them.
We have arrived at a very sad, but inevitable and clear choice. As of now, all Dishooms are now closed to diners.