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A laser show and fireworks will light up all temples, streets, 'crossroads' and other public places in Varanasi.

With the inauguration of Kashi Vishwanath corridor in Varanasi on December 13, the whole of Uttar Pradesh will be lit up similar to Diwali-like celebrations. This year the people of the state will invoke Lord Shiva in their homes by lighting lamps on the occasion of the inauguration of Kashi Vishwanath corridor, the highest revered shrine of Hindu faith. Along with this, a laser show and fireworks will light up all temples, streets, 'crossroads' and other public places in Varanasi.

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The Uttar Pradesh Tourism organised the Varanasi Hot Air Balloon Festival, for visitors to enjoy the joyous celebration of gods celebrating Diwal

By Olivia Sarkar

For most, Kaashi is the seat of the gods, one sees colourful throngs of pilgrims, a vast sacred-scape, and life-ending climactic ceremonies at the undulating ganga while navigating its crowded streets, which unfold like a broadway production and a costume drama all at once. Many seekers, literary personalities, old world flaneurs, and residents flock to the ghats at Varanasi to take their redemptive holy plunge; with its antique charm, it has served as a continual muse.

In its attempt to enchant its apostles and acolytes with another perspective, on the occasion of Dev Deepawali, the city presented another distinct perspective for travellers to enjoy its mystic appeal and floating lights on its river. The Uttar Pradesh Tourism organised the Varanasi Hot Air Balloon Festival, for visitors to enjoy the joyous celebration of gods celebrating Diwali, and see the city in all its glory from an aerial view.

hot air balloons The Festival adds this experiential repertory, in addition to its landlocked beauties. | File

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IANS

Sources close to the actors have said that the two had a very private 'roka' ceremony during Diwali.

The rumours of Vicky Kaushal dating Katrina Kaif have been doing the rounds for quite some time. Both the actors have been denying the stories, but now, it looks like the air will be cleared once and all, for the good of both. Sources close to the actors have said that the two had a very private 'roka' ceremony during Diwali. It took place at the home of filmmaker Kabir Khan. Katrina considers Kabir to be like her brother, which may be the reason why she chose to have the ceremony at his place in a close-knit affair that did not extend beyond immediate members of the two families.

Katrina is reported to have been joined by her mother Suzanne Turquoette and sister Isabelle Kaif, Vicky's side was completed by his mother Veena Kaushal, his father, the renowned action director Sham Kaushal, and the actor's brother Sunny. Diwali being an auspicious day, the two families decided to make the most of the occasion by organising the ceremony, with Kabir and his wife Mini Mathur playing the hosts. The big buzz now is that the actors will tie the knot in Rajasthan later this December, but they haven't sent out any invites, nor made any phone calls to friends. On the work front, Katrina will resume shooting for 'Tiger 3' and Vicky will start working on the Sam Maneckshaw biopic 'Sam Bahadur'. (IANS/ MBI)


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Photo by Andreea Popa on Unsplash

In a marathon celebration, HelpAge marks the festival across 100 old age homes across the country, bringing happiness, hope and joy to senior citizens

As the country slowly steps towards some form of normalcy amidst the pandemic, this Diwali, non-governmental organization HelpAge India working for disadvantaged elders, celebrates the festival of lights with a message of hope and togetherness through its campaign and film, 'Andhero Se Roshini Tak. In a marathon celebration, HelpAge marks the festival across 100 old age homes across the country, bringing happiness, hope and joy to senior citizens, many of who were suffering from isolation, loneliness and a sense of abandonment during the pandemic. The campaign aims to bring them back into the fold and give them a ray of hope and support them.

The campaign highlights the impact of the pandemic on India's elders vis a vis their health, livelihood and the pervading sense of loneliness and feeling of being forgotten by their own, as social distancing, led to social isolation for many of our elders who were left to fend for themselves. According to a survey done by HelpAge earlier this year, 36 percent elders at home in India 'were just waiting for the phone to ring'. During the first lockdown, 65 percent of elders lost their only source of livelihood, leaving them with no resources for medicines and no one to reach out to.

The core campaign message urges the younger generation and society at large, to bring hope, light and 'Roshini' back into the lives of elders. It encourages bringing elders back into the family fold and pushes for elder inclusion. A time to give back and spread the love, and reach out to those elders who have no one to call their own and support them.

"Diwali is a time synonymous with hope, positivity and togetherness. The pandemic took a heavy toll on the lives of our elderly, particularly on the disadvantaged. Identified as the most vulnerable, many faced challenges at multiple levels, from loss of livelihood to having no money, no support and were left with a deep sense of isolation and constant anxiety. For those living alone, it was even worse. We hope through this campaign #AndheroSeRoshiniTak we can sensitize people to urgently come forward and celebrate this festival in its truest sense, by sharing the light and love with those who need it most. It is our responsibility to bring light into their lives, it's time to give back." said Rohit Prasad, Chief Executive Officer, HelpAge India.


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