Now, I am one dense dunce every once and a while, and this was one of those times. After putting the info into my Blackberry for August 15 I thought nothing of it...
Until, that is, I started seeing a lot of "Happy Independence Day!" wishes on my Twitter and was cabbing it home one night, looked out of my window and saw this:
The Empire State building decked out in the full glory of green, white and orange. Then, and only then, did it hit me: it was India's independence day!
I felt like the biggest idiot, but now there was NO WAY I was going to be missing this parade and sure-to-be-general nom fest, so on Sunday morning I rounded up my Babaji (who was in town) and coerced him over to Madison Square Park where we lined up with a lot of Indians, looked really out of place, and I for one, felt really at home.
Babaji kept asking "I'm going to at least get good food out of this, right?" And yes, you did Babaji, but hush up and watch the parade.
Pressed against the barricade, swarmed by Indians and their to-die-for precious babies and once again feeling like I was the only one who spoke English made me all warm and gooey and sad and excited all at the same time.
I have a great capacity for emotion, obviously.
It even rained for a little bit, so I can say that I actually thought we had been transported to Mumbai in the monsoons and I was going to flag down a rickshaw and hop over to Mega Mall for the night.
Alas, I was in New York City, but the feeling was all the same.
The parade was long, full of funny floats and severely lacking in candy throwing but it was good to see women in saris and salwar suits again; and men tucking in their polo shirts into thieir high-waisted pants with sandals and socks.
If you didn't know, I love uncles.
Oh, and seeing Preity Zinta was fabulous. There is some speculation that here and I look alike, I for one don't buy it, especially after seeing her in person. She looks exactly like PZ should look... dimply, smily, chipper, excitable and the like. She's also amazingly beautiful and I love her so... I was a tad happy.
After the parade my father and I walked over to the food tents, I made a B-Line straight to the guy selling these:
It was like being home, ahhhh, kulfi, I ate far too many of you in India, but it was so worth it.
Oh, and I had chai, and samosas and chaat and briyani and naan and these weird veg sausage things that my cook used to make and they were so delicious I started crying and then I refered to India as "home" six times within a half hour and my dad got upset that I didn't recognize my childhood house as such.
And the crowd! Fighting for my space against tiny little Indians just made me so happy.
Can I go back yet?
Also, Indians also produce the most beautiful children. They make latent mothering instincts come out in me.