Thursday morning, Anna, Kimberly, and I started our morning with a yoga class taught by a woman than Anna met the night before. It was in this cute hip mint green house in Bandra (the hippest part of Mumbai). We had a nice conversation on a secluded little cafe balcony and relaxed for the rest of the day as the rest of the dancers trickled in.
Yesterday morning, we all met for breakfast and received our in country handbooks full of historic and relevant info about dance and indian culture. We went on a walk down Linking Road where the streets were stopped for a festival in order to try and reduce pollution in the city. After that, we went on a ferry ride to Elephanta Caves. These caves were on an island and were all in honor of Hindu gods, usually Shiva, the main god of creation. The stairs to the top were full of vendors and extremely crowded!! But it was worth it to get to the top and see the art created so long ago. We were continually being asked to take pictures with people because Indians have a fascination with foreigners (especially large groups of young women.. Haha).
As we left the caves, the air was cool and breezy and the world seemed quiet. The waves around the ferry were calming and the seagulls weaving around the boat made for a relaxing ride back to the Gateway of India.
Once we got back to the gateway, we photobombed a large school groups photo, and within seconds, we were surrounded by hundreds of people taking pictures and joining in, just to have evidence of seeing “white girls”. I assume that was as close to celebrity treatment as we could get!!
We rode over to Pinky Masi’s (Nisha’s Aunt’s) for a terrace party. On the way, we passed a parade full of Muslim boys hanging off of busses and trucks on their way to a huge Muslim festival. The music was loud and the community was all in the streets. It was such an energetic sight. Once we arrived for dinner, she had made us flower crowns and got us Kurtas, which are traditional tunics. We ate delicious food and chatted with the family, and reveled at the full moon and how lucky we all are to be here.
A relaxing few days, with no complaints. My jet lag is finally wearing off, and I’m beginning to get full nights of sleep :). My favorite thing about India so far, is the hospitality and community. There is a saying in India to “treat your guests like gods”, and they truly take that to heart. The amount of care and love out into each homemade meal we have been served is a warm and sincere gesture of welcoming. The next few days we will be dancing, and I can’t wait to move my body and finally begin to meet the kids!