I stole this from Facebook. If you squint, you can see me in my paintball gear.Matt was still sick with a fever, so he couldn't come, which was a bummer. We'll definitely go again, though, so he'll get his chance.
Last night we went to one of the Navratri festival parties in Baroda. I don't really understand what Navratri is, but it's a huge deal in Gujarat, and each city has multiple parties to celebrate... whatever it is they're celebrating. We showed up at the "United Way" party (it was the most popular one, so naturally, that's where we needed to be) at 11.30, not knowing that it ended at midnight. We decided to go anyway, but then were detained for at least 10 minutes because we had cameras. Never mind that tons of other people inside had cameras. Ours were big and noticeable and expensive, so of course they wanted us to leave them outside unattended. We said no, and a small scuffle ensued, and then some random employee showed up, talked to Alex (who is Indian) briefly, and then let us all go on through with our cameras. Ahhh, the price you pay for being a foreigner, I guess. Anyway, by the time we made it in there was probably only 15 to 20 minutes left, so we tried to take as many pictures as possible. it was dark, so they are blurry.
I love those lights. The people are dancing, but you can't really tell.
After we got inside, we watched all the people inside participating in the garba. There were at least a couple thousand people inside the arena dancing in giant circles, with each circle moving the opposite way of the one outside it - if that makes sense. I wish I could've seen it from the top because I bet it would have been even more amazing with a bird's eye view. Navratri attire is a really big deal, especially for the women. Men will usually wear just a long kurta (like a tunic), but some of the men wear traditional Gujarati costumes, which are really impressive. The women wear long skirts and short tops, both covered with mirror-work and embroidery. I didn't get very many good pictures of outfits, but I tried my best.
The guy on the left (in white) is in traditional Gujarati garb. His lady friend looks pretty nice, too.
I thought this girl was really beautiful. So did all the boys... it's going to be rough being the only girl here for the rest of the time.
This one's blurry, but I thought this girl was such a doll. Also, I've already bought Bella an outfit like this.
After Navratri, we went back to the hotel, where a real live Bollywood star was currently getting a room! I would never have recognized him, (I guess he's not famous enough to be on commercials yet... only the really famous ones get the commercials, which is strange) but Shriram pointed him out. His name is Dino Morea, and he has done several Bollywood movies, none of which I've seen. This makes him the third celebrity I've seen in the past six months, and that ain't bad. Of course I took his picture... from behind so as not to arouse suspicion.
That's him on the far left. Yeah, I'm a fabulous photographer. And yeah, our hotel lobby has a weird lighted mural behind the front desk.
I got this off Google. He's so Bollywood.
As you can see, I had a pretty busy weekend. I'm off to Thailand tomorrow, where I'm sure to have the time of my life. No lie. I'm trying really hard to not get sick from whatever Matt has... doesn't matter. Thailand cures all ills. Anyway, I'll try to update some from vacation, but I make no promises.