Landed in Bombay yesterevening. En route to Bill's place:
Mr. S: See, this is the pandal, this is all decorated so nicely.
Me: Yes, it is.
Mr. S: From tomorrow, the kitchen is open only for breakfast.
Me: What kitchen?
Mr. S: Our kitchen. Aunty will make only breakfast.
Me: Oh, thats alright. I know how to cook. (Bill @#$%^&!, just you wait...)
Mr. S: No, no, not that. We will go have food with everyone at the Pujo place.
Me: Oh, I see.
Mr. S: There will be all kind of stalls where we can go get food.
Me: That's nice.
Mr. S: We will also have cultural function every evening.
Me: Nice. What sort of cultural functions?
Mr. S: Tomorrow, there will be Bengali folk songs. Singers are coming all the way from Kolkata.
Mr. S: And the day after, there's a play by an upcoming troupe from Kolkata.
Mr. S: Don't worry, we will get the Kid(aka the bro-in-law) to translate for you.
Me: Okay (Like the Kid knows any real Bong...)
After a few minutes.
Me: What's this pandal? This looks nice.
Mr. S: Oh no, this is all local. Gujarati festival. They also have Navratri na?
Me: Yes yes.
Mr. S: Anyway, all they have is song and dance. Quite loud too.
Me: I see.
Mr. S: No cultural functions. Just some filmi people they will call and dance.
Me: Of course.
Mr. S: We will also go visit different Pujos across the city
Me: There are different Pujas?
Mr. S: Of course, every locality has their own. In Powai, this time we are having a model of the Dakshineshwar temple.
Me: How cool! (Isn't that an overkill?)
Mr. S: Artisans from Bengal have been working on it for the past few months.
Me: Nice (Of course it takes months, they work only every third day since they have to be on strike the other days)
Mr. S: As you will see, its not really religious. Thats just an excuse. Its mostly a social gathering with a lot of cultural events.
Me: Nice. (Good try)
Mr. S: We are really looking forward to having you here. You will see first hand our Bengali culture.
Me: I am looking forward to it too.
So there. Next few days in Bombay taking the Bong association of Greater Bombay by storm. Moi. Stay tuned.