All set for a relaxing Deepavali – good food, good movies, good times

Coming from a huge family that celebrates all the festive occasions – including those from East Malaysia – it is somewhat surprising that Deepavali is ‘the most chilling’ holiday in our household.

Most years, the home minister and I would catch a movie in the cinema or ‘lepak’ (chill) in front of the television after lunch at our next-door neighbour’s place.

This year will be slightly different as we will be in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, visiting an old family friend on Deepavali day itself – Sunday.

The plan is to go early, have a delicious lunch, visit some relatives and stay till evening to have tasty hawker fare for dinner before driving home to watch Liverpool in action in the English Premier League.

With Monday being a holiday, we do not anticipate much traffic going to, and returning from Seremban, from Subang Jaya.

The extra day off means we can still take in a movie – although we already did so on Friday night, when we watched ‘The Marvels’.

Speaking of movies, in our Young Voices column, two teenagers – Shwathi Sudharshan and Theivanai Natarajan – list their Top 10 movies to get you in the Deepavali spirit.

It is a mixed bag of movies, and I know of many family members and friends who have seen all of them.

One of them is Twentytwo13’s creative editor, Hanafiah Nordin.

He said it is a tradition to watch ‘Khabi Kushi Khabie Gham’ (Sometimes Happiness, Sometimes Sadness) every Deepavali.

As Shwathi and Theivanai describe it, ‘Khabi Kushi Khabie Gham’, also known as ‘K3G’, captures the gamut of human emotions as it deftly addresses the topics of romance, familial relationships, and personal problems.

“I enjoy the movie because it is a story about family, and siblings bonding,” said Hanafiah.

“I come from a large family – seven elder sisters and a younger girl. I am the only boy. I can relate to ‘Khabi Kushi Khabie Gham’. The songs are nice.”

I am not averse to watching films with subtitles – Netflix has opened a new world for its subscribers, who can catch movies from any part of the world.

I particularly like South Korean films, although I cannot stand the soap operas.

However, it has been a while since I watched any of the classic Bollywood or Kollywood shows that the television stations usually re-run during Deepavali.

The last Tamil movie I watched was ‘RRR’ – an amazing ‘leave your brains at the door and enjoy’ flick that left me breathless and laughing at its outlandish stunts.

But sometimes, we need that kind of escapism from the real world.

So, what will you be watching this Deepavali?


To celebrate World Children’s Day on Nov 20, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will host multiple events in November and December to commemorate World Children’s Day in Malaysia.

Among the events are the ‘Embracing the Future – Young Leader’s Programme Showcase’ on Nov 18 and a ‘Celebration in Parliament’ on Nov 20.

The Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change, Ministry of Youth and Sports, together with the Youth Environment Living Labs, a collaborative initiative by the United Nations Development Programme and UNICEF Malaysia, supported by ALAM, will host a youth-led and youth-focused session during the multi-level Action Day on Dec 9 at the COP28 Malaysia Pavilion.


To learn more about the Peranakan culture, tune in to Peranakan Sayang’s Facebook page today and tomorrow for an in-depth look at their history.


I love mutton varuval, and one of the best I had was at the Royal Lake Club on Monday. It was so tender and flavourful with the right amount of ‘kick’ (spice).

Here are 17 Indian mutton recipes to try for tomorrow’s Deepavali celebration.


If you want a song to rock your Deepavali, look no further. We end this week’s Diary with a tune – ‘Naa Ready’ – from the movie ‘Leo’.

It is one of the hottest singles right now, and the movie, released globally on Oct 19, has set several box office records for a Tamil film.

Until next week, Happy Deepavali, folks.

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