Or at least it felt like that. We went for the JSMC Mela 2010 on Indian Independence day and it was a whole load of fun. It was truly a "mela" a fun fest. It was a gathering for at least about thousand people. Everyone seemed happy enjoying a Chicago afternoon. There was enough activity of adults, kids, toddlers and the older folks. There were stalls set up for the yummiest food from all over India, there were games for the kids, and there was a moon bounce and even a volley ball game. We would walk down the road, and meet someone we know or someone who knows us. We met new people who were just excited about meeting someone from the same native town. We bumped into a few friends whom we haven’t seen for over eighteen years and some for eighteen hours.
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
By the end of it, we pulled out our beach chairs and hung out chatting and enjoying the afternoon sun. It was simply amazing.
We went to the mandir, prayed. The soft soothing prayers filled the room. The smell of the incense captivated us. V's constant requests of doing Aarti, doing ‘namo to bhagwaaniji’ and aping us were adorable. Just sitting inside for a while was both relaxing and appealing. This was followed by us just hitting the food stalls. We ate whatever was left and then a bit more and then a bit more again.
The sun was beaming, the breeze was blowing and the worries of the world were left at the door. The organizers had done a phenomenal job at putting it together and making sure everyone came to the temple and had a good time. There was a Karaoke set up and I was mesmerized by the voices of a few who sang in front of the audience. I could imagine them, closing their eyes, and being one with music. I saw by daughter jump in the moon bounce for almost an hour. I could hear her excited voice and see the face lighten up. I saw SD and our friends play volley ball or the bean bag toss, challenging each other, supporting and enjoying the victorious dance. My friend became V's best buddy and they both tossed the bean bags and my friend was just happy losing to my daughter all the time. I could see myself just blend in, just let it sink in more and just be one with my surrounding.
It felt like I was home... if only for a day. I knew I was in India.
As a side note: See "Eat Pray Love" movie.... Its a must for the girls. I went after my day trip to India with some friends and saw this. It was beautiful.. the company and the movie. I slept with a smile.