First off, the processions of the gigantic floats of a bajillion Ganpatis lasted all day and all night. I woke up in the morning to drums, firecrackers, bells, shouts of "Moria!" all coming from two roads away from me, but it sounded like they were right outside my window. You were able to tell where the processions had been because of the kholi powder that they throw on people was staining the streets. And you could tell who had been in the processions. Every once in a while, we'd pass someone on the sidewalk or on their motorcycle who was stained with the red powder.
Everything closed early. I actually got out of class to go to the phone store because my phone was having issues and my teacher said it was important that I get it fixed before it closed at 11:30 that morning. At least one good thing came out of my phone hating me. Thank you, Ganpati.
At around 8 that night, my friend Laura and I walked down my road to where the procession was. Entire roads were blocked off. It was impossible to get a rickshaw or to get anywhere without crowds of people going the same way. And if we thought getting there was crowded, we had another surprise coming.
It was absolutely impossible to walk on Karve Road. The procession took up the whole thing. People were literally standing on top of each other to watch the people dance down the street and play their instruments. Oh. And see the Ganpatis as well. Laura and I were so excited that we actually jumped into the procession.
And of course, that was crowded, too. I don't know how, but somehow people managed to dance with virtually no space around them. It's a talent that I'm still waiting to acquire. And for all the chaos, it was surprisingly well-organized. The men and the women were separated, which could sound sexist or something, but Laura and I really appreciated. Many of the men were quite intoxicated (and not just with joy for Ganpati) and it was really uncomfortable being in a crowd of them. There was a circle of guards surrounding an area that was just filled with women dancing. It was so much fun! People were so amused. Everyone wanted to show us dance moves.
At one point, a girl said to us over the overbearingly loud music, "Welcome to India, how are you enjoying the festival?!" And, of course, we told her how wonderful it is. To which she responded, "Tonight, Pune is the best city in the world!" Oh, how true that was.
We ended up being out until about midnight dancing with this crowd of women. It was so much fun. Laura spent the night at my house, since I'm close enough to walk to the party. We watched the party continue on TV for a while with Anjali, but eventually we were so tired from all the dancing and excitement that we both passed out around 2 in the morning.
But the show must go on! The festival didn't stop until around 4 the next afternoon. Talk about a party! Oh, and the next morning, Laura's host mom said she saw us on TV. Go figure, right?