So it was Diwali this weekend and there was a lot happening. It started with Thursday's Diwali Cold Call at Darden complete with butter chicken, chole, papdi chaat, vegetable jalfrezi, and kheer and a couple of fabulous group dances by a first years which culminated in a 5 minute impromptu all-jump-in dance to 'Desi Girl' (we also made a train and went around the PepsiCo Forum!). A few drinks and another party later, we were hungry again and ended the night with a trip to IHOP where JJ kept us entertained with his jokes and the 3 words of Hindi which he has managed to master!
On Friday, I had my most expensive meal in C'ville at Mas. Caipirinha, bacon wrapped dates, lamb chops, croquettes, and a couple of other fancy dished I don't remember. From there we went to The Backyard for another Darden get together. The two cute girls at the door convinced JM & JJ to buy the cups for the fashion show since it was a good cause. How could I say no after that. The cups got us drinks specials, though. I broke even after the first couple of drinks, so it was indeed for a good cause.
The next morning, we went to watch a series of short films which were being screened as part of the Virginia Film Festival. Verdict - some people should not make short films. A few of them were good though.
AI's son, M had turned 2 this week and the Birthday Lunch was on Saturday. JJ, JM, MI and I made a trip to Toys R Us. We unanimously agreed that MI was the most capable of deciding on gifts for 2 year olds. The three of us followed her to the section which had games based on alphabets, bought a couple of them and then decided to give M something more fun. And so the bowling kit was bought.
The problem with having 20 different things to eat is that even if you take a small portion of each, you end up with a food coma. That's what happened to me at AI's place. It was the most fun I've had at a gathering which didn't have any alcohol! The highlight was when little M opened his bowling kit and went crazy hitting the pins.He absolutely loved it.
The fun continued in the evening with a Diwali Potluck. Great food, more Bollywood music, an after party with guitar and songs and dumb charades till 4:00 in the morning, which included movies from the IMDB Bottom 100 list.
I don't miss Indian festivals as such. By that I mean, I don't miss the food and festivities or the tradition bit as long as I am having a good time. Of course it would be nice to do all that - visit pandals during Durga Puja and burn firecrackers during Diwali. But to put it bluntly, it's another day. And it's no big deal if I don't get to eat a special dish or go to a special place because everybody else is doing that. Yes, it wouldn't be fun to spend such a day alone doing work, or worse, nothing, but so would any other day.
What I do long for are my friends, family and the tastes, smells and sounds that I can't get here.
Happy Diwali everyone.
Happy Diwali everyone.