Dussehra later, Diwali card party has come early for Delhi-NCR folks

Diwali isn’t complete without card parties, but this year the urge to meet friends and relatives amid social distancing during pandemic has compelled denizens to have card parties quite early. Those hosting these, are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that safety measures are in place including sanitisation of Poker chips, mandatory masks, minimal gathering etc. And some quirky themes are also being chosen. While Covid-19 pandemic should have denizens wary of attending these, many say that they just can’t keep away from indulging in some light-hearted fun albeit with safety measures in place.

Playing cards is just an excuse to meet everyone

Shekhar Sharma, who has his business across Delhi-NCR, hosted a card party in the first week of October. He says, “Card party toh bahana hai sabse milne ka (Card party is only an excuse to meet everyone). In the past years, I never hosted one before Dussehra, but this time I wanted to invite my close buddies, whom I haven’t been able to meet for long, thanks to the lockdown and the paranoia. But, we ensured that we were following safety norms. There were nine of us at our home. I asked everyone to check their temperatures before coming; and we served home-cooked food only. I had kept sanitisers as well for anyone who needs to use them, and we played cards on a roundtable to ensure we sit at a distance, and even played games such as Monopoly.”

Cards/chips to be sanitised

Gurugram resident Gagandeep Singh Bhalla says he is all set to host one such party at his home next weekend, October 24, as Navratri will be over by that time. “We’ll sanitise cards and chips. And we’ll be playing on a table instead of a floor sitting arrangement because then we can sit in a socially-distanced manner. This time we’ll have more tables and a maximum of six people will be on one table. It’ll definitely be nice to host it early as it would be a refreshing evening after Navratri, and the whole lockdown situation. Food would be made at home to prevent the risk of Covid-19; although all the delivery apps are taking all precautions but home-cooked is always safer.”

Halloween-themed Card Party

Sumit Anand, who runs a sports shop in Delhi, is hosting a Halloween-themed card party. “We’re giving away Halloween themes masks for this Saturday party, which will be a way ahead of Diwali. Everybody will play cards with the mask on, and maintain social distancing. There won’t be too many people on a single table, and every table will have a sanitiser. We’ll have Diwali and Halloween themed placards. But food we’ll order from outside!”

Great way to connect after the lull

Delhi-based businessman Sumit Dhingra, who hosted a card party recently, says, “These past few months have isolated everyone socially, and this was a great way to connect, laugh and enjoy in a safe space. We ensured everyone left their slippers at the door, and sanitised their hands at the entrance. The gathering was limited, and we all sat on a table with quite a distance from each other. It went on till late night, and what great fun.. truly the festive season is here!”

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