"Tandoori chicken," Mr Ravindran said "My favourite."
"Dum Biryani (marinated chicken cooked with rice)," his wife replied.
Their son, Praveen, said: "Mithai (Indian sweets)."
"Good food is a celebration of life" — Sophia Loren
Deepavali is no different. It celebrates the triumph of Light over Darkness and ushers in the Hindu New Year.
"I really look forward to the lunch," Mr Ravindran said, smiling at the thought. It has always been a tradition to gather his extended family and neighbours for a buffet lunch. They would mingle a while before tucking into a sumptuous spread, regaling one another with stories. Topics ranged from PSLE results to urban ghost stories, raising a ruckus along the common corridor.
Mr Ravindran would also proudly showcase the glorious Rangoli his family created. Rangoli is a pattern decorated with colourful rice powder. It usually comprises of geometric patterns and is thought to bring good luck. Nowadays there are ready-made Rangoli stencils available. Mr Rajandran, his wife and Praveen would use one to sprinkle an intricate design after dinner on Deepavali Eve. Mr Rajandran would share tips pointedly as he chatted with his neighbours.
You may not be a Hindu but you can still celebrate Deepavali with your family. Life is a story of happiness. Celebrate this story.
Take a Trip to Little India.
There is no better place to get fully immersed in the festivity. Head there at night and be enchanted by the dazzling display.
Make a Diya (small, clay candle).
It is the festival of lights, after all. This is a good time to explain the origin and symbolism of Deepavali to your family.
Watch this video and learn how you can DIY a diya—with plastic spoons.
Visit a Hindu Temple
Most Hindu temples are dedicated to a particular Hindu deity. Here is a list of Hindu temples in Singapore.
As with all celebrations, Deepavali makes for many happy moments with family and friends. The joy of family traditions offers a great occasion to bond over share old stories and while making new memories.
Light up Life this Deepavali.