Once upon a time, a young prince, his beautiful, new bride and his dutiful, young brother were sent away into the woods by a scheming step-mother and an oath-bound father. The trio went through all kinds of trials and tribulations that tested loyalties and relationships, including a cunning kidnapping, a near-death experience and a massive war that ended in the destruction of an all-powerful, evil demon. After 14 long years of exile, the triumphant trio returned home to a city lit up with beautiful, earthen lamps or ‘diya’s, celebrating the victory of good over evil, and marking the beginning of a fresh, new era of health, wealth and prosperity.
Given that it’s one of the longest and most detailed epics ever written in Indian mythology, this probably is the shortest version of Ramayana you will ever read! But what gets me every time is the essence of this story and how every year we take that essence and make it into something as beautiful and joyous as Diwali, the festival of lights. In a way, it’s a celebration of the ‘circle of life’ as we reunite with friends and families, exchange gifts and hugs, share special food, and burst fire-crackers as one people, breaking boundaries, inhibitions and prejudices.
The most delightful aspect – and sometimes most harrowing, if you can’t make up your mind! – is the gift-giving! It reaches frenzied proportions notwithstanding price rises or Tsunamis. And apart from some symbolic scented candles, aromatic incense sticks and pretty lanterns, these gifts are predominantly edible items. Huge boxes of chocolates, large decorative trays of dried fruits and nuts, mind-boggling arrays of sweets or ‘mithai’s and deep-fried savouries find their way into thousands of homes, and millions of tummies around the country. Little wonder then that guilt trips are also on an all-time high, with gyms bursting at the seams and joggers tracks groaning under the weight of additional pounds 😉
But it’s never too late to do something good for the ones you love – make their Diwali wholesome! Instead of gifting millions of calories, pick out something from the following list of thoughtful, edible gifts. Right from the charming and cheerful packaging, to the happy pricing, to the delicious, can’t-stop-at-one stuff inside the packs that’s good to you AND your taste buds, these gifts will make you the Hero of the Season – the Saviour from All Guilt Pangs!
- Maggie & the Chocolate Factory’s ‘Granola Cereal’ brings together the goodness of granola bars in the form of a wholesome cereal. A trail mix of oats, honey and brown sugar, it is literally packed with cranberries, blueberries, hazel nuts and roasted almonds. Great when mixed with flavoured yogurt or plain old milk, it tastes yummy on its own too, ‘cos you just can’t stop snacking on its crunchy goodness! Price: Rs. 550 for 500 gms. Call Meghana Doshi at +91 9819967016, or email her at email@example.com
i2cook’s‘ Sea-Salt & Peanut ButterCookies’ are deliciously soft and chewy, and comes in a lovely reusable jar, or pack. These gluten-free cookies are made with all organic ingredients, and include i2cook’s peanut butter, free-range eggs, (eggless option also available), a sprinkling of sea salt… and a lot of love! They are seriously addictive, but if you can resist them, they will last in the jar for 3 whole weeks! Price : Rs. 500 for a pack of 5 with jar, Rs. 250 without jar Call 022-24055308 or place your order here.
Missisippy’s line of healthy, easy food and snacks proves that what is good for you can also be good for your taste buds! The oat-based sweet Missisippy ‘Goodies’ biscuits are loaded with fibre, and the savoury Missisippy ‘Masala’ range of snacks are made from brown rice and lentils with zesty flavours. So, gift a loved one a bunch of these cheerful packs of salty or sweet (or both!) options to get them snacking healthy in those in-between times! Price : ‘Goodies’ in ginger-lemon, fig-cashew and flax-honey flavours – Rs. 40 for a pack of 3 cookies. ‘Masala’ in Tomato, Pepper & Mint flavours – Rs. 45 for a pack. Mail , or visit here to order.
Nature’s Basket has a wide range of healthy food products, rich in fibre and nutrients, grouped under Healthy Alternatives, that promise to keep you happy even on a binge! Take a pick from their ready-to-go ‘Healthy Festive Hamper’, ‘Organic Festive Hamper’ or ‘Fruit Lover’s Hamper’. Or, hand-pick the goodies yourself from soya nuts to herbal teas to sunflower seeds to litchi honey, and a zillion other things in store, and the sweet guys behind the counter will wrap it up for you in a nice basket with ‘diyas’ and bits and bobs, ready to gift away! Price : Starts from Rs. 399 for hampers. Order here or walk into any of their stores and get creative!
So, now, quickly connect with these guys listed above and spread the joy, not calories! And if you wanna keep some aside for yourself, go ahead, binge away! No harm in loving yourself a little too 😉
Wishing you a very Happy Diwali! Have a crackling one!