Just another day at the Kolkata International Salsa Congress. One is reclining with a splendid bottle of red wine, expecting warm dinner at the table any minute. Temperature steady at 13 degrees, and we are outdoors watching Latin social dancing at the lush lawns of Tollygunge Club. My teacher, Mr. Dibyajyoti Mukhopadhyay (founder of the Indo Hispanic Language Academy) introduced me to a lady eager to meet fellow Columbians in Calcutta. That’s how I met Julia, a sprightly and ever smiling person who loves to have conversations. For some reason she insisted on naming me Diya (Diya, mi querida, como estas tu?). Months away from home, it was good to listen to her gushing in rapid Spanish with Eider and Jose. They would look at me expectantly in between and unable to come up with anything profound in my baby Spanish, I would stick to Si, Si and Verdad (yes,yes, true). Desperate to make an impression I volunteered an obvious: Hace frio, no? (It’s cold, innit?) To which Jose promptly replied in English: It’s actually kinda warm.
Julia gave me an earful later for egging her on to dance with Jose. Fellow Spanish language enthusiasts, know that not all Spanish speakers dance.