Friday, August 10, 2012

Govinda Aala Re!


It Janmashtami time! The day we celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna. The one, who killed Kans, lifted a mountain in his childhood, played flute to which the gopis danced, and recited Bhagwat Gita to Arjuna in Mahabharata. He was born in Mathura, the place which drowns itself today in celebration and joy. And youngsters eagerly wait for this festival to come every year. And I personally look forward to the celebrations in Maharashtra. Extremely worth watching every year. Having lived in the state for 11 years, I can tell. Gokulashtami is celebrated with much pomp and ecstasy in the state in the form of Dahi Handi. 


The handi is a clay pot filled with buttermilk that is placed at a much height before the starting of the actual event. People start building human pyramid to reach this handi and the top most person breaks it or tries to break it with a coconut. Usually it’s a kid. And when it does break, its dancing and singing time folks! Organizers from Mumbai, Pune, Thane and Dadar announce big hefty rewards and cash prizes to the winning handi breakers aka govindas. The govindas come in the form of groups. Each group tries to win based on its experience and practice. They fall and rise and fall again. But never give up! Bracing all the injuries and pain, they climb again and again to break the handis. The spectators scream and throw color filled water balloons. But the govindas never lose their focus from their aim. The Mumbai spirit, I tell you. Hats off to them!


      

The scene of Dahi Handi is not only famous in our real world but also in Bollywood. Cinemas have been using these scenes for the entry of their heroes for generations. Take an example of Agneepath. The latest movie having dramatic entry of Hrithik Roshan. The crowd is promised a highly entertained movie by such visuals. And to see a dahi handi live is quite a different experience. You get to see celebrities on the streets and models dancing on the stage to the Bollywood tunes. There is chaos and a lot of shouting on the streets. But no one complains. Whenever any dahi handi is not broken, or cannot be broken, the handi’s height is decreased and so is the cash reward! Govindas try their level best to break it. In their attempts, they often get injured. The news channels definitely quote the number of injured govindas at different events every time. But it’s all the part of the festival. Nothing will stop those govindas climbing back. It’s an event where people clap and applause for you even when govindas fail to break the handis. And the latest news that I get to hear is the new record that a group has made. They have built a human pyramid of nine levels which is going to be in Limka Book of Records. Now that’s the spirit. Jai Shri Krishna!



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