Outside the Freer and Sackler galleries at the India Festival, I was trying to follow the Bollywood dance instructor’s moves with moderate success. This would normally be the kind of thing I would not participate in, but my friend had jumped in and yelled to me, “Come on! You’ve got to do it!” She is the kind of friend who is a champion when you are down: anyone who has upset or angered or annoyed me is usually dismissed as a dumbass, and she provides descriptions of their idiocy, if needed. Who doesn’t love a friend like that? So, when she told me to participate, I followed along.
After the dancing, we went inside the building, which, despite my nearly lifelong area residency, I don’t think I’d ever entered before. It was a maze getting from event to event, going up and down the steps and corridors from one gallery to the other.
We attended rakhi bracelet-making and were not pleased with the quality of beads (“This is bullshit!”). I was planning to wear mine until it fell off, like those red Hindu bracelets, but it ended up in the garbage that night after itching all day.
We never found a place to get henna tattoos, but my friend did get a bindi to wear. We had mini-cupcakes in the courtyard and saw traditional rice flour art. We ate the best Indian cuisine I’ve ever had.
We briefly considered seeing some of the artwork in the galleries, but that will be for another day. Instead, we decided to see a movie.
We killed time in the bookstore near the indie theater and snickered at the “In My Humble Opinion Guided Journal,” a notebook for detailing why “all the stupid things” people do “are so obvious to me.” (Sample prompt: “‘Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of them are even stupider.’ – George Carlin”)
We spent the rest of the warm afternoon watching Ruby Sparks, a film about a novelist whose character comes to life as his girlfriend.
Leaving the theater, we discussed the movie. “I liked it, but he’s kind of ugly.”
She laughed. “They can’t all be good-looking!” (True. And bad-looking men with good-looking women don’t really trouble me. I was surprised and even pleased to learn that the actors playing the two romantic leads are apparently romantic in real life.)
As we walked the downtown blocks from the theater to the metro, she was still wearing her bindi, and I was still wearing my fake-me-out rakhi bracelet.
Another lovely summer day.