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Desi Halloween costumes you probably have in your closet

by Aiden

This Halloween, look fa-boo-lous.

By Shaan Bajaj

MANJULIKA FROM BHOOL BHULAIYAA (2007) (pictured above)

If you would like to truly scare the kids in your building, look no further than Manjulika. Re- create the look by wearing a traditional red- and-yellow sari or dress, and pair it with a pair of loud anklets to make an enchanting sound whenever you walk. Add a layer of incredibly messy black eyeliner and red sindhoor on your forehead. To complete the look, wear a pair of jhumkhas and put your hair in a braid with white flowers around it, making sure the front is incredibly messy. All you have left to do is dance to “Mere Dholna” like a possessed woman.


Having taken Thailand by storm, Gangubai is an instantly-recognisable look that’s elegant, yet simple enough to recreate. Take any whitefabric and drape it into a sari, along with a big red bhindi on your forehead. You’ll be sure to look ghostly in white, but feel free to add makeup to make you look deathly pale, along with some red lipstick. Haunt the streets of Bangkok as the lady in a white sari.


Marvel’s Muslim-American superhero of Pakistani descent, Kamala Khan, is an incredible role model for young desi girls. Empower them by dressing them up in a black salwar, pink kameez, and some golden DIY cuffs, Kamala’s iconic look in the fight scene during her brother’s wedding. Tell your girls they won’t need to fear the ghosts, zombies, or other creepy crawlies, as they will have Ms Marvel’s powers to protect them.


If you’re looking for an easy yet smart Halloween costume, dress as the Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris. To steal her look, wear an electric blue or plum pantsuit (or as close as you can manage with whatever you have in your closet), with a pair of pumps. Add a simple blow-out to frame your face, plus a printout of the American flag, and go see how many people can guess who you are!


Who said you need to get married to wear a bridal outfit? Use Halloween as your chance to play dress-up as a bride or groom, but add a deathly twist by applying corpse-like make up to your face. Wear a red lehenga or sherwani with as much bridal jewellery as you can find (costume pieces only, of course). This outfit might be perfect if you recently tied the knot and want an excuse to wear your bridal outfit again.


For some of us, there is nothing scarier than an aunty asking, “Beta, when you are going to get married?” So, take this spooky season tochannel every desi singleton’s biggest nightmare, a biodata. To create this look, print out your biodata on a huge piece of paper/cardboard and stick it to your T-shirt, or for best effect, try a sandwich board or a giant cardboard frame around your face. Add to the look by asking your partner or friend to dress up as Sima Taparia from Mumbai – all they’ll need to do is put on a yellow salwar kameez and keep reminding your friends all night that they’ll need to settle for 60-70 percent. And voila, you’ll be the duo that’ll scare away all your unmarried friends in a 10km radius.


You’re not truly desi if you haven’t dressed as Aladdin or Jasmine on Halloween, and luckily, this look is incredibly iconic and easy to fashion together. This could work for you and your partner, you and your pet, or as a group of friends. Wear a blue salwar kameez, and use multiple rubber bands (and teased hair) to recreate Jasmine’s signature hairstyle, and you’re ready to go. Your partner can dress up as Aladdin with a white salwar and a purple kurta. If you have a pet, dress them up as Raja (with black tiger stripes) or Abu (using purple cloth to create a shrug), while your friend can even dress as Jafar or the Sultan with a red-and-black or all-white outfit, respectively. And don’t forget the matching turbans!


This iconic love triangle took over our screens and our hearts in the late 90s, when Kuch Kuch Hota Hain came out. This Halloween, grab your two best friends and re-create the look as a trio. To dress up as Tina, wear a short black dress or a two-piece yellow skirt and tank top. Brush up on a few lines to truly play the part. To look like Rahul, grab a pair of denim jeans, a white T-shirt, and a brightly-coloured jacket with his classic silver chain. For all my Anjalis, wear overalls with a white t-shirt underneath, and a pair of sneakers. Accessorise with a baseball cap, and to complete the look, make sure to carry a basketball around with you.

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