Re: Navratri

My Dear Fellows,

Come to Ahmedabad and be mesmerized by nine days of cosmic spectacle, sparkling chaniya choli, and alluring Garba dance in obeisance to the goddess Durga. Beginning Tuesday, October 13 and continuing well into the night of October 21, it is with pleasure that Kuljan and I invite you to our home to celebrate the longest dance festival in the world, Navratri 2015.

Young dancers
Young Garba dancers in traditional Navratri dress

Rural Fellows:

In America our wares would go unnoticed – nay! – seem repugnant, but see here how they now titillate and delight beyond your most colorful fantasies. Like a salesman at a Turkish Bazaar I will waft to you the exotic perfume of modern civilization and rub your delicate, wrinkling noses in it. We offer you:

Reliable Transportation
A terrace with a view: a view of a shopping mall
Spider-free living

Jozi, Shriyam, and Kuljan sharing chai on the terrace
Jozi, Shriyam, and Kuljan share chai on the terrace

Metropolitan Fellows

Had enough of the fast life, you say? Need to get away for the weekend?  Leave your stress behind and come to clean, orderly Ahmedabad where the streets are quieter, conversation lasts longer, and daytime naps are permitted. Here in Gujarat even the food is a little bit sweeter.

Gujarati Dinner
Kuljan and Shriyam enjoy Gujarati Thai at Sasuji’s, which means “Mother-in-Law’s”


We live in a neighborhood (“society”) that has not previously housed foreigners, and  they were a bit shocked to discover an unmarried man and woman co-habitating.  As such, we are working hard to preserve tenuous, new relationships with our neighbors. I don’t have a single doubt that you can all manage this respectably and with grace, but please bear in mind that in our dear dry state of Gujarat what might seem like mature partying to us may appear wild and uncontrollable to others.

A society preparing for Garba.  Men and women sit separately.
A society prepares for Garba. Men and women sit separately as a sign of respect.

If some of you are not yet convinced allow me to tack on one little doozy of a lagniappe: Kuljan will be here, and wherever Kuljan goes memes are sure to follow.

Crysty Gujarati Man Meme


M&E meme

Alongside us will be a host of other fellows who have already confirmed their attendance. Come hobnob with the muckety-mucks of today’s society in our cozy 2 BHK.

Left to Right: Janice, me, Jozi, and Ambika. Photo Credit: Ambika. Well, technically Kuljan.
Taking advantage of the 'non-veg' and 'cheese' world-cuisine that Turquoise Villa offers. Left to Right: Kuljan, Janice, Ambika, Ted, Jozi, me, and Kushal
Taking advantage of the ‘non-veg’ and ‘cheese’ cuisine that Turquoise Villa offers.  Left to Right: Kuljan, Janice, Ambika, Ted, Jozi, me, and Kushal

There will also be chai, served at 10:00 am and 3:00 am respectively. Yes, am is correct. Please plan ahead to attend both as we know not what or when secrets will be revealed.

Offerings to the goddess Durga
Offerings to the goddess Durga

Love and Dandiya,

Crysty and Kuljan


Alyssa and I celebrate with our new friends

For the last two years, Crysty has worked in New York City responding to Superstorm Sandy in various capacities with the American Red Cross. During that time, she also volunteered as an advocate for survivors of sexual assault with Bellevue Hospital, providing information and empathetic support to survivors in urgent need of resources. Prior to moving back to the northeast, Crysty lived in New Orleans for three years. It was there that she cultivated her interest in disaster response and recovery. Her background in communications and interest in human rights have led her to work for grassroots and international organizations in Austria, Rwanda, China, and throughout the United States.

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