Jessel Taank, Sarita Choudhury, and Prabal Gurung Kick Off N.Y.C. Diwali Season


Ms. Acharia emphasized how South Asians have made a “mark in so many different fields,” which was reflected in the range of firsts in attendance: Vanita Gupta, the first Indian American to serve as associate attorney general; Jessel Taank, the first Indian woman cast on “The Real Housewives of New York City”; and Nina Davuluri, the first Indian American to win Miss America.

Ms. Acharia, whose eye-catching lehenga featured red feather sleeves to her elbows, said in a conversation that she nearly canceled the soiree, of which she is the main organizer, amid the grief people have been feeling about the Israel-Hamas war. But, she said, a friend told her, “if you’re going to allow so much sadness into your heart, you also have to allow the light into your heart.”

The dress code, “Modern Raja and Rani,” translates to king and queen in Hindi, and it was interpreted extravagantly by many. Mr. Gurung designed himself an emerald stone-encrusted sherwani. Ms. Taank, clad in a shimmering lehenga with light pink feathers, was one of many attendees wearing Falguni Shane Peacock. “I love them because more is more, right?” she said of the designers, who were also hosts of the party.

The actor Adrien Brody was spotted walking to the bar later in the evening, while on the dance floor, a D.J. played Bollywood hits, drawing Aditi Shah, the Peloton yoga instructor. A giant dessert table with jalebi and gulab jamun piqued the interest of Aasif Mandvi, the former “Daily Show” correspondent, and others.

“I hope,” Ms. Nooyi said, “with 1.1 billion people celebrating Diwali, hoping for good over evil becomes infectious for the rest of the world.”


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