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The Diwali Dossier

Noise norms

Firecrackers that emit over 90 decibel of sound, as measured 5 metres from the source, are banned. Sound from microphones must be limited to 65 decibel.

Complaint corner

Lodge complaints with the pollution control board, police or Sabuj Mancha, a forum for green organisations. Those who lodge complaints with the pollution control board will each be given a unique number so that they can follow-up the case.

Other restrictions

Banned firecrackers cannot be used. Crackers that might cause fire cannot be thrown from rooftops.

Microphones cannot be used between 10pm and 6am, except to make emergency announcements.

Helpline numbers

Calcutta police: 22143230/ 22143430

PCB: 23358212, 1800-345-3390 (toll-free), 23353913

Sabuj Mancha: 24733244, 9230568902

Fire department headquarters: 22861570

Fire department’s Behala control room: 24073535

Fire department’s Mohammad Ali Park control room: 22414545

Safety steps

Police have requested residents of high-rise buildings to keep their terraces locked on Diwali night. Cops might be deployed on terraces of buildings that are not locked up. Plainclothesmen will patrol lanes and bylanes to keep an eye on cracker norm violation. About 20 teams of the pollution control board will be on the road on Diwali to monitor violations. Three teams of Sabuj Mancha, too, will scan the city.

Fire alert

All 10 fire department control rooms across the state will be operational through the night. An officer of deputy director rank will be stationed at the Lalbazar police control room to take down information on fires.

Traffic curbs

Roads might be closed to traffic between 4pm on Tuesday and 4am on Wednesday as and when required. Private vehicles might be exempted.

Weather watch

The night is going to be cool, with the temperature hovering around 18 degrees Celsius. The day will be pleasant with the mercury likely to remain below 30 degrees Celsius. There’s little chance of rain.

Tipple tale

Bars and restaurants serving alcohol and off-shops will have to go dry at 3pm. For the past eight years, booze shops had remained open on Kali Puja.

Doc’s advice

Sachin Varma, dermatologist

Keep a bucket of cold water handy near the place you are lighting the crackers.

In case your skin gets burnt, pour cold water on the wound immediately. Follow it up with an antibiotic cream. If the burn is severe, consult a doctor at once.

In case of eye burns, wash the eye with tap water, cover the eye with a cotton pad and consult a doctor immediately.

Wear fitting cotton clothing with short sleeves. Long sleeves, synthetic material, scarves and dupattas may catch fire from the sparks. Moreover, synthetic material can stick to the skin, causing deep burns.

Those with chronic lung ailments should stay away from the area where firecrackers are being lit.

Keep your pet away from firecrackers.

Sweet surprise

“Anjeer mithai, ghee ke ladoo, nolengur sandesh, badaam and kaaju barfi are the bestsellers this Diwali,” says Rajesh Gupta of Gupta Brothers. Diwali poker trays with cards, mithai and namkeen are selling well. Bestsellers at Kookie Jar include boxes and hampers of handmade chocolates starting at Rs 500 and firecracker cupcakes starting at Rs 50. At cupcake-speciality den The Rouge (opposite the back gate of La Martiniere for Girls), owner Sumedha Singh says: “There are customers who come in with tiered stands and ask it to be decorated with cupcakes, especially the mini ones (starting at Rs 35). We are selling about 1,000 cupcakes daily. We also have a basket of teacakes, Venice cookies and shortbreads in different flavours, starting at Rs 1,000.”

Dress code

Ritu Kumar, fashion designer

Diwali is the time when you can dress as traditionally as you want to without feeling that you are not happening. Which is great! A silk Benarasi or a south silk Benarasi would be a good investment. You could also wear an Anarkali or a salwar suit. Make sure the odhni is colourful. Diwali is about the colours of fire. So wear warm colours like reds, yellows and oranges. Wear lovely kundan jewellery. It is better than just gold. If you don’t want to wear a sari or a suit, you can easily wear a dress and wrap a nice chunni as a shawl. Or just wear an ethnic, festive-looking shawl. I would be wearing a burgundy crinkled skirt with a little border at the bottom with one of my velvet jackets with zardozi embroidery and a chunni!

Party plan

Chitvan Jaipuria, party planner

Your house is the best venue! A lot of candles are a must. Deck it out with aromatic fragrances, lamps and lanterns. Hydrangeas are very popular. You can also go traditional with marigold and hibiscus.

Bring out your silver artefacts. We did individual party platters this time (for an event) and it was an instant success. Try that! Small-sized portions and non-fried, so that everybody has one kept next to them. You could try simple stuff like sauteed tortellinis on skewers.

In terms of drinks, it is more of cocktails this time. Get a bartender even if you are having a small house party.

Have designated smoking zones. Remember girls love playing (cards) when there is a guy who is dealing for them.

Play lounge music. While playing cards, you don’t really want thumping music. Teen Patti and variations of Teen Patti are in this season.

What special thing did you do this Diwali? Tell ttmetro@abpmail.com