I knew something was up when she asked us all to wear white. Moms never wear white... and expect it to stay white.
My kids and I were the first to arrive (we live down the street) and Anjalika (a sprite of a woman in a bright pink sari) sprinkled orange, green, pink and blue powders on our heads and spread them on our cheeks. It was all very demure and cute... until later, when the party really got going and she was dumping rainbow powders all over everyone's heads to the raucous beats of Bollywood music.
The highlight was Anjalika's turn as dance teacher -- she recently shared with me that she had studied Indian dance for years and in college, then spent seven years in India, acting in Bollywood films and dancing. Although I never really got beyond the "screwing in lightbulbs" motion of my hands while swiveling my hips, Anjalika was mesmerizing. "Louder!" she kept shouting to the people by the CD player, and the music pulled all of us into the dervish-swirl of Indian sights, sounds and tastes. It was a magical, memorable day under the canopy of her backyard's trees.
And did I mention the food?? Samosas (potato-filled pastries) and pani puri (crisp hollow dough balls that you fill with a concoction of potatoes, spicy water and chutneys). It was decadent and delicious and spicy.