The essentials list: ‘RHONY’ stars Jessel Taank and Pavit Randhawa share their Diwali essentials

When Bravo rebooted “The Real Housewives of New York City” with an all-new cast in 2023, all eyes were on Jenna Lyons, the erstwhile president of J.Crew — but it was Jessel Taank, a fashion publicist and Bravo’s first Indian Housewife, who emerged as the breakout star of the new “New York.” Jessel wasn’t the only Desi who captured the hearts of Bravo fans: Her husband, Pavit Randhawa, quickly became one of the most beloved Househusbands in the Bravoverse. Happy to play low-key wingman — literally, his Instagram handle is “thewiiingman,” a nod to his love of travel — to Jessel’s type-A personality, he is a perfect foil to his at-times high-strung wife.

In addition to being hilarious, endearing and totally relatable, Jessel and Pavit also offer viewers a glimpse into a modern Desi household, something that’s new to the American “Housewives” franchise. So with Diwali, the festival of lights celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists, enjoying a mainstream moment in the US, we decided to catch up with the style-and-food-obsessed couple to ask about their Diwali traditions.

Growing up in London and Los Angeles, respectively, Jessel and Pavit had different experiences with celebrating Diwali. “For me,” Jessel says, “Diwali has always been a big deal. Growing up in London it was two or three days where there’s just this excitement in the air, it’s our new year. It’s our way to really celebrate our culture and be with family and dress up.” Jessel’s extended family celebrated with a big dinner followed by fireworks. “As kids, fireworks were such a big thing. After dinner we would celebrate with fireworks — which was very illegal, by the way — in our backyard. But we did it nonetheless.”


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