From July 11-14 I attended BMM as a volunteer helping my mom and the committee from early in the morning to late at night. We stayed 5 days and 4 nights in the splendid Omni Hotel which had a skywalk to the convention center. Now, for those who don’t know about BMM or know but didn’t come, I’ll explain from my point of view.
Wednesday: This was the day we left home to go to the Omni hotel. My dad was at work and would come later, whereas I and my mom were finishing packing all our clothes and shoes and supplies for those 5 days and 4 nights. We had 3 suitcases of 3 different sizes, an IKEA bag full of shoes, a big cloth bag with fete and our cowboy hats, and some purses and simple carrying bags. Luckily our house is only an hour away including traffic but it was less crowded so we only took 40 minutes. The staff at the hotel unloaded our luggage onto a cart and waited for us while we checked in, and brought our baggage to our room. After he left we unpacked the simple things, our special clothes which we would need soon, our toiletries for the night, make up for my mom, nail polish, for my mom, and our important stuff into the safe. Once we settled down and explored our room, we ordered a delicious chicken club sandwich and cheesecake which came withy silverware, a cloth napkin, a glass of water with a plastic sheet on top, 3 sauces, mustard, ketchup, and mayonnaise, with your dish covered by a cover to protect it. The cheesecake and sandwich were so good and amazingly made that I never wanted to finish eating it. Anyway, I finished it and looked outside our window which was ceiling to floor length with an amazing view of the buildings around it. We settled down, my mom was doing her nails for the event and watching TV while I sat on the comfy orange chair with my blanket and iPad watching my own videos. My dad was running a little late so my mom had to take me to the registration that was happening because she’s part of the Host and Hospitality team. After finally finding our way there we got to work. My mom at the desk of the donor booth while me at the side not knowing what to do with 3 teenagers from the volunteer team helping at the back. Finally, my friend came and saved me. We went to the other booth for non-donors and helped out, me finally knowing what to do until my dad came and picked me up. We went back to the room and I got ready for bed while my dad worked a bit. He was going back to our house because we forgot to bring his work clothes for the next day. So, I quickly fell asleep because I was so incredibly exhausted after working for so long.
Thursday: On Thursday there was a special program for the senior where there are singers who sing classical Marathi songs. I was helping out there after I ate breakfast and I have to say, I loved the breakfast. Even if it was all Indian food, there was a continental section which I had breakfast from. Cereal with toast and milk was what I ate. I and my mom sat down and ate and some of the other members of the Host and Hospitality team came and ate with us. We left after finishing to help out with the program. After five minutes of work, I went downstairs to help my friend, the Hospitality chair’s daughter with registration. It’s funny because I’m the co-chair’s kid and she’s the chair’s kid, and she’s only a year older than me. Anyway, I helped out with her and her friend until they closed for a lunch break. We went upstairs and went to the MAY I HELP YOU? booth our moms’ were setting up. After checking with them, we dashed off to the cafeteria without knowing it opens at 12 and not 11:30. After not being allowed in for a half-hour we waited hungrily and finally went inside. The food is so delicious there. All the food are recipes sent in people so that was even more exciting. After lunch, I changed into a regular shirt and leggings for my dance practice on the stage. Once our practice was over my mom picked me up to go back to the hotel so I could change for the banquet. For a kid, the banquet would be boring and it was. The food was delicious, but I’m not used to old Marathi songs and it was really late at night so I started to doze off until I couldn’t due to uncomfortable posture. My dad finally took me back to the hotel where I slept to the next day.
Friday: This is the day of the opening ceremony. The Opening ceremony is what my dance classes were for. I was in the second dance, the one with the kids and I loved every moment of being on that stage. The way everyone watched me as I danced, the light bouncing off my face, the way I knew this was the last time I would do this again yet I still smiled throughout my performances, laughing and smiling like it was never going to end, and that it was real, not in dance. I was in a traditional Indian school dancing with my friends in the rain and watching the boys play cricket while we cheer them on. I loved every moment of it. I also love all the other dances. Especially the teen ones, they were so cool. I missed it by 2 years to get into them, yet I still recorded them dancing so I could practice the moves even after the event is done. The entire ceremony passed by quickly, and I changed after it ended. Me and my friend, the hospitality one, went to a program where a famous cartoonist who drew these comic strips of a character ca,e to tell us the story of it. After that, I went to his workshop, late, yet I still entered my drawing for a chance to win in only like two minutes after I came. After the workshop I helped with the MAY I HELP YOU BOOTH? with my friend and we had lunch together. I and my dad watched some of the programs and had to leave one of them early because I was in a surprise that was happening soon. After my mom picked me up and I changed into a white kurta with an orange sash around my waist with black tights underneath, we waited at the MAY I HELP YOU? booth with everyone else in the surprise. Once there was a crowd gathered after the calling, our music started and we rushed to our positions. After 1 practice round to call more people, we repeated this 4 times, excluding the practice. Twice in the same spot where we practiced and twice near a different area. After that my parents and I split up, them going to watch a play while I went to childcare for my enjoyment to be with my friends. Childcare was not what I expected, so please be reminded that childcare wasn’t the best. Later we went back to our room with aching, exhausted feet.
Saturday: On Saturday was Gaurav Yatra where everyone was wearing novaris and fetes. At the front was a sign that said Gaurav Yatra and followed by that were the younger kids all dressed up, looking so adorable. Behind them were the legim dancers. I became one of the very day they performed. Behind us was everyone else from different places, the people who were holding the flags, the dhol tasha people and more. We circled the convention center and danced a bit. When we went back inside I changed and went back to childcare. Only two of my friends were there so not as fun. I came out, had lunch with my family and helped out at the booth for a little while. I went back to childcare and my friends weren’t there yet, so I waited a little while. My dad picked me up surprisingly and asked me to help out with handing out gazras to everyone. We ran out of bobby pins when we were more than halfway through so we had to use safety pins instead. Also, the gazra were cold. After being in a cooler for so long made them freezing. Anyway, after that, I went back to childcare and my friends were there. We played together then did the contests. Jump roping and limbo. My dad picked me up and we went back to our room. Another long day of helping and aching feet.
Sunday: As soon as I woke up I started packing our stuff up. It was the last day of BMM 2019 and I was devastated. We loaded our baggage back into our cars and headed off to breakfast. The last day was about Texas. We were Cowboys and wore our famous hats that day. After breakfast, we watched the Shivaji Maharaj powada which I really wanted to be part of but couldn’t. That’s ok though. After that, the opening ceremony really began. It started with the baton passing to Charlotte, which is where BMM 2021 will be, and then with the invitation from charlotte, then the president of BMM stepping down. After that, the play started. Somewhere through the beginning, I was called backstage to finish the closing ceremony with my friends. I had no idea what to do because two of them, there were 4 at first then it expanded, had done the dance before so learning something last minute was a bit of a challenge. We made it through and gave the closing ceremony a big kick. After that we had lunch and helped out with taking the MAY I HELP YOU? booth apart and putting everything back into storage or taking our stuff home. Once we were ready we went back to the hotel and went electric scooter riding. My mom so so tired she didn’t want to, yet it’s hard to believe that I had enough energy to stand and ride it even if my feet hurt, and my mom didn’t want to. I guess its aging.
My overall thoughts of BMM 2019 are that I loved it. That was my favorite and only BMM I’ve been to but I’m going to see charlotte’s next year. Our video invitation was already much better than their’s so I’m expecting that there’s isn’t going to be as awesome as ours. Yet you never know. I really miss it but I’m reminding myself about it every day for when I wake up after I brush and get my morning milk, I play every video of the opening ceremony on the TV to remind myself about all the things my mandal accomplished in those 4-5 days. And also so I can practice the dance moves of the other dances, just for fun. In conclusion, BMM 2019 was probably the best BMM ever; so, look out Charlotte, Dallas just set a high bar for you!!!!