26 December 2013
India Love . . . 3, 2, 1: Christmas Day Festivus!
At 8am on Christmas morning I loaded all of my things back into the car and set off for Delhi with my driver, Surinder. Before heading out of town, we made our way to the monkey temple. Galtaji is in Khania-Balaji, and is a Hindu pilgrimage site where people can come and bathe in holy water. This was the absolute best way to leave Jaipur! I've never seen so many monkeys in all of my life . . . At one point, I was on the hilltop surrounded by pigs, goats, cows, monkeys, and dogs: all at the same time. I spent about 2 hours there. Then it was time to get back in the car again. About 3 hours in, I decided that I wasn't so happy about spending Christmas Day in a car. However it warmed my heart to know that perhaps back in the States, other people were also piling into random forms of transportation to go and visit with loved ones. I kept checking my phone to see if anyone had woken up at my dad's house where my nephews were. My sister and I remember waking up around 4am on Christmas Day, so I was sort of hoping that they would do the same. Alas, they slept in a bit longer. When we finally got back to Delhi, my residency neighbor handed me a tiny little stocking. I was so happy to have something fun and festive to hang up in my space! I ended up Skyping with my dad around 630pm my time. Everyone was just getting up at the house and the boys were excited because Santa had come to visit. But halfway through our Skype, there was a knock on my door. A man was calling us to dinner early. I figured it was because the chef needed to be home early, but it was for a Christmas celebration! They had invited all of us (all 5 of us) to the dining hall for drinks and treats. And they put up the most magical little Christmas tree, complete with snow on the branches. After dinner, they presented us with a green cake. Following dinner, we all went to Vicki's studio and shared our art work with each other. The night ended with drinks and dancing in the studio. Christmas Day Sanskriti-style rules: so much fun!