I went to the Festival of India in Fremont today. It was about two hours transit each way, and I spent just about an hour there, but it was worth it.
I didn't carry any momentum into this event -- my Hindi study has dropped down in preparation for the trip to China -- I wasn't even able to do any effective picking-out of phrases overheard in the crowd.
I also wanted to get something to eat, but was too overwhelmed by the crowd to stand in a line for twenty minutes. There was one booth grilling meat that didn't have a long line, and I noticed it was lamb rather than chicken.
Weirdest thing was an airplane towing a banner that said something like "Kill minority religions, that's the Indian way to get Hindu votes." I'm assuming it's a Muslim group that sponsored it... the choice of message, in context, may have said more than they desired...
I liked being around the people, and calming myself down to handle such a crowd. Towards the end I was standing on the fringes, along the side of a car to stay out of foot traffic, and I noticed that even with fifteen feet free on the one side people still brushed against me when passing by. I scrunched even closer to the car, but didn't want to lean on it.
I would have liked to have smoked a pipe, to calm myself down with the crowd, but I noticed no one was smoking at all.
I have never seen so many beautiful sarees in my life.
I don't know what I got out of it, but I'm glad I went.