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It's a quiet Diwali for Tollywood

I have been to Vizag after the cyclone. It’s very sad that the beautiful city is now shrouded in darkness. So I have decided not to celebrate the festival this year and won’t be bursting crackers as well. On Tuesday, some of my friends from the industry visited my house. Manchu Manoj and Lakshmi collected money from all the guests for the Hudhud cyclone relief and they would be sending it to the AP CM’s Relief Fund. It’s a quiet Diwali and I will be spending it with my family.
Rakul Preet Singh
After three years, I will be celebrating Diwali with my family. I took a day off from shooting. I stopped bursting crackers, but I celebrate the festival with my parents and meet friends and relatives on this day. I light up the house with lamps and my mom cooks special delicacies. 
It’s a quite Diwali this year and I haven’t planned anything special for the day. We have a family get together. My mom will be lighting up the house with diyas. Also, I won’t be bursting crackers.
Allari Naresh
Most of my relatives are in Hyderabad and for us it’s a tradition to get together at my place on Diwali. A few other actors and I have decided not to burst crackers and donate the money to the cyclone victims. 
Madhu shalini
I decided not to celebrate Diwali this year because of the Hudhud cyclone that hit Vizag recently. I am giving away the amount to AP CM’s Relief Fund. My family members too are donating the amount that they were supposed to spend on the festivities.
Sundeep Kishan
My parents are coming to Hyderabad from Chennai and I will be spending time with them this Diwali. I am looking forward to the delicacies that my mum would be preparing. Every Diwali, I watch a movie with my friends. I’d probably do the same this Diwali as well.

The life of a celebrity isn't as hunky-dory as it seems from the outside. Living amidst all the glitz and glamour that comes with showbiz robs them off the many little pleasures of life that regular people take for granted. Invariably, they end up missing out on many important events and festivals back home.Whether it's a film's shooting or an important meeting, there's absolutely no escaping work for mana celebrities. And getting time off to celebrate festivals with their family and friends seems like a privilege in itself.

Tamannaah, who is on a break to catch up with her friends and relatives to make up for all the lost time, confesses, "Festivals are a great way to bond with your family and dear ones and I
have great memories related to festive occasions over the years. But since entering showbiz, I've had to miss most festivals and family gatherings. This time,however, I'm not to celebrate the festival since my grandmother passed away recently. It's a huge loss to me personally."

For several of Tamannaah's colleagues like Nani, Nithya Menen and Adah Sharma, it's going to be a work-filled Diwali.

"While every festive occasion means a quiet gettogether at home, it's going to be a low-key festival for all of us at home.Nani isn't in town and he'll only come back to Hyderabad in the second week of November after wrapping up the shoot in Nepal," Anjana, wife of Nani, informs.

On the other hand, Nithya Menen is busy shooting for Mani Ratnam's film in Chennai and Rakul Preet "has been shooting continuously for the past couple of years and missed plenty of family
gatherings". The ongoing Telugu Film Employees' Federation strike in Telugu film industry has meant that most of the actors have got to stay home and spend time with their family. But most celebrities have opted to keep the celebrations low key as a mark of solidarity for the victims of the Hudhud cyclone.

Actor Gopichand,who'll be celebrating his first Diwali after becoming a father, says, "Although I've planned to spend time with my family in Ongole, I'm really saddened with what has happened to the Uttarandhra region. It's really unfortunate and I sincerely wish that the lives of the Hudhud victims return to normalcy soon. At the same time, I'm happy that I'll be with my family to spend the first festival after becoming a father."

Diwali is going to be a low-key affair in the Manchu household as well. "My father is very particular that the entire family should get together to celebrate any given festival. However, this time, I'm not going to spend a single penny on fireworks and I've decided to donate all that to the ongoing relief operations in coastal Andhra Pradesh. For me, celebrating a festival is being with the family. I'm grateful for their presence and love in my life," says Lakshmi Manchu.

Her brother, Vishnu Manchu echoes similar thoughts and says, "Generally, we make it a point to take out time to celebrate festivals and bond big time with the family. Personally, it's a happy moment for me since we have a new addition to our family — my sister's daughter, Vidya Nirvana. However,we are not going to celebrate the festival in a grand manner as a mark of solidarity to the people who have been affected by Hudhud cyclone. It's going to be a simple get-together."

Taapsee, who moved to Mumbai earlier this year, is celebrating the festival in her new house in Mumbai, along with her friends. "I love to be with my family during festive occasions, but I've had to skip them a lot of times because of shooting schedules and impromptu meetings and story discussions. Things have worked out quite well for me ever since I moved into my new house and it's my lucky charm, I suppose," she says.

For Pranitha Subhash, festivals are all about spending a quiet time with her close friends and family and this Diwali is no different. "I've plenty of North Indian friends who throw house parties during Diwali and I end up going to one of them. Last Diwali, I celebrated the festival during the shoot of my earlier film Brahma, it was a low-key affair with my film's crew and a few members from the media," she says.

Meanwhile,Pooja Hegde,who's currently in Mumbai along with her family, avers that no celebrity can escape the prospect of missing out on festivals and other important events because it's the "nature of their job".

Ask her about her plans for this Diwali, and she says, "Diwali reminds me of all the rangolis that I used to draw outside my house every year in the past. I can't recall bursting crackers for more than 10 years now. When I was young, my father was actively involved in a campaign to shun crackers and I was shocked to learn that the young kids, who work under some really hazardous conditions to make crackers, develop a hole in their lungs by the time they turn 14. The festival is meant to be all about lights and I like to keep it simple."

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