So much wonderful stuff happened over the all too short Diwali break, starting with the launch of my cd and music video.It was brief and very sweet, with a gracious speech by the chief guest Nita Ambani, dressed in flattering lilac. I felt like a rockstar (naaaah! just kidding! Swear! ), and found it hard to contain my excitement. To my absolute delight, young Neal Adhikari, the composer, performed live and totally unplugged, with his Guruji, Shri Shantanu Bandopadhya, representing the Bishnupur Gharana. It was a charming interlude, made even sweeter when Neal shyly confessed he had composed the song especially for me! "Without her, there is no sunshine in Indian Literature," he told the press. And my heart soared. Pardon me for dwelling on this, but I don't launch music videos every day
! It was a very special moment ... and where else but in this special space can I indulge myself??
Right after that, I jumped into a speed boat from the Gateway of India, and zipped across the dark waters to our other home in Alibag, feeling like a James Bond vamp.It is the best way to travel the 14 nautical miles, with salt spray on the lips and wild hair whipping the face.
Once home, we shifted gear and opened vintage bubbly. The children were looking wonderful. My son Aditya was off to play poker with his buddies, but I had the girls captive ! We went to our small screening room to watch the song sequences from our favourite Bollywood films, staring with "Bobby." Dinner was disgustingly late ( 1.30 a.m.), but we were satiated by then. All that foie gras.... and rocquefort.... come on... puran polis had to wait. By the time we got to Madhuri and 'Maar Dala', I was ready to perform a mujra by the pool myself!!
The next day was far more sober and solemn, with utney and sugandhi tel ritual baths, Diwali faraal and a vegetarian al fresco lunch ubder the palm trees. But wait.... this was the puran poli discovery of all times. I crumbled mine into chilled, spicey kokum (aam sole) coconut curry and believe me, it was bliss. Try it. The puran of the poli effortlessly merged into the pale purple coconut curry, with hints of crushed garlic, and garnished with chopped coriander for additional flavour! Ooooof. Kya baat hai. The mahurat for Lakshmi puja only began at 8pm (enough time to squeeze in a late afternoon snooze). By puja time, we were dressed in our traditional finery - the girls were toasted a warm honey brown after cavorting in the jacuzzi. But they looked just fabulous when they climbed out of their bikinis and into colourful ghagras for the aarti.
Aaaaah. If only Diwali came around more frequently. No..... that would prove fatal for our waistlines. Oh... it was the first Diwali for the two handsome boys on the farm - Schumi and Kaiser, my husband's pet Weimaranas. I am happy to report, they coped just fine!!