"We made it to Mumbai! Great flight. We’ve landed just in time for the Diwali festival, and lots of fireworks (phatakas) are going off!"
That's the email I sent to family and coworkers last night just after arriving in Mumbai--my second visit to this incredible city and country.
After writing that and changing into a traditional kurta, I went to the Ramkrishna Mission where a celebration started at midnight. Many people were gathered, and we listened to the singing and chanting as people prayed to the goddess Kali. Here I am in the mission with the image of Kali behind me.
Here we are in front of the mission. Notice the image of Ganesh, the elephant god, the "remover of obstacles," above us. From left to right, Nameeta's mother-in-law, Smita, Nameeta, Cindy, and me.
After leaving the mission, we went back to Nameeta's. But on the way, we stopped by a temple to Hanuman, the monkey god, where people have tied bells over the years for good fortune. There are thousands of bells.