Sunday night when we arrived back to Pune, we got an invite to a “dance party” and of course for me and India and Bollywood and music, there was no way to say “no”.
Technically, it was not “that” kind of dance party, but in the end it was a lot of great Bollywood tunes and just some fun dance all around.
But first, the actual dance….
For the last night of the Navratri festival/holiday, folks celebrate with Raas Garbha dance…basically some traditional dance around a light/fire lit for the Goddess. We all got adorned with jasmine in our hair and though I think there are probably some actual steps that they might have tried to teach us, truly we all just followed along with whatever lovely Indian woman was doing a dance step.
Raas Garbha can also include Dandiya, sticks, so of course that was slightly dangerous and also a lot of fun!! We all managed to click our sticks together in some way or form and though maybe not exactly to the beat, at least to make enough noise to please the Goddess without injury!
I LOVE Bollywood movies….for those who may be new to the idea, they are basically 3 hour musicals (complete with intermission) with amazing looking people and stories that range from the absolutely cheesey to the full on political or social commentary (still with singing and dancing of course). I have not yet seen one this trip, but hope to remedy that this weekend. There is nothing better than tucking in to some Masala laced popcorn and an indulgent piece of entertainment.
But I digress…
We did get some Bollywood dancing in and a couple here also gave us some Samba steps to work on.
After sweating it up on the rooftop terrace, we were lovingly served Pav Bhaji (rolls that get dipped in some yummy lentil/veg mix) and Kulfi, Indian ice cream.
All in all it was a lovely night set up by one of the teachers here at the institute. She opened her home to a few of us and really made the night special for all. Family, friends, food, fun, and music…and one more memory to put in my collection from India…