Kolkata – Party begins!

It was worth it! First thing I felt was sunshine and warm air upon finally stepping out of the airport. I arrived, after a winding drive through the city, at the Sahu household. Home to Neha (Priyesh’s wife)’s family. The apartment complex is beautiful and they’ve given two other apartments for the entire family where we all have been staying. The excuse for getting together: a 25th wedding anniversary of an AMAZINGLY SWEET couple!!!! 🙂

Since we were stuck in the airport, we arrived on the day of the party so it was important to nap through the afternoon. Luckily I got the chance to re-unite with my beautiful cousins (especially Aishwarya who had been in Mumbai for studies while I was in Delhi). She fed me, put me in bed and told me to get some rest before a GREAT night!

The wedding anniversary party was like a whole wedding in itself. There was a huge stage, covered areas for people to sit, stations for all different types of delicious food, tents to lounge and smoke hookah, and most importantly, an open air tile-lit dance floor! The DJ had us partying till past 2am to Hindi tunes, house and some good ole’ hip hop! Some of the favorites from the night: Sheela Ki Jawani, Muni Muni Badnam Hui, Club can’t handle me right now… Ha ha. We continued the night in the tents having dinner, sweets, hookah and pan (for digestion..?). We took a ton of pictures all posted on facebook. It was so much fun!

We spent the whole next day relaxing together in the apartments. The best part, for me, has been having all the family and cousins (and cousins of cousins lol) together. We sleep together, eat together, relax together, get ready together (yes, it takes hours) shop together, listen to music, take pictures, DANCE, and it’s easy to hang out with them even through the language barrier – there are some things that just don’t need translation…

Last night I had a whole new experience. We went out to a coffee shop that also had hookah and ice cream shakes (called Mocha)… I got to see a different side of Kolkata as we drove around the entire city in two cars – (India is FILLED with crazy crazy crazy drivers and my legs were definitely shaking when I got out of the car). We stopped by a mall and thought about having food there, but who wants MALL food when you can have STREET food. I swear, most interesting experience of my life….

DON’T WORRY – I DIDN’T EAT, just took pictures! We rolled up to this Russel Street – literally just turned a corner onto this street and parked. People came up to the cars and started popping the hoods of our two cars. I’m thinking, ‘Is something wrong with the car?’. No. This is true street food. Minutes later (as I thought we were just hanging out, listening to music in the street) guys start coming over with plates and trays of food. I mean, REALLY?! I was in awe. They placed the trays on the hoods of the cars and gave out plates to everyone who started reaching for all the different dishes splayed out in front of us. AMAZING. I tried a tiny little bite of a couple things but I have been warned by the entire planet to never eat street food in India – I never knew what they meant until now. We then drove a few blocks away for kulfi (Indian Ice Cream) which had all different flavors – the most exciting one was not just in the shape of an orange/tangerine, but inside the SKIN of a tangerine/orange. SOOO COOOL! (yes, the little things excite me). We drove around some more – being crazy and having fun on the empty streets of the city…

A couple of great nights and the party will continue on this week. Today we visited a boutique of a clothing designer and saw some beautiful suits… I have to say, I’m truly enjoying the sunshine and palm trees – I can’t imagine the snow burying North America at the moment…. Last night I was telling everyone how amazing it was that I was able to wear open shoes and short sleeves on December 27th!

A lot of dancing has been going on – at a wedding or a special occasion like the recent anniversary, dancing is one of the ways to show a dedication of love for the honorees. “We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the dreams…”

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