Friday, 3 September 2010

Krishna Janmashtami

As I was out on errands and the end of the day was coming I kept seeing the Dahi Handi's (claypot filled with milkcurd) being rigged over streets, over parking lots and any large open area any sponsor had managed to come over. It was the day of Lord Krishna's birthday and this festival was called Krishna Janmasthami.

Pyramid starting and handi rigged up in the air

The celebration is done by making human pyramids to reach up tot he handi and break it. The people doing the pyramids are called Govinda's. They travel around the city trying to break as many handi's they can as some of them present large cash gifts (given by political parties or wealthy societies).

It was late afternoon and I decided to stay onshore this evening as the breaking of the pots were going to take place then. You could see the Govinda's everywhere on trucks and at the festival sites gearing up for the evening trial. And so I went with Saini to Kharghar and had some chai while waiting for his family to get ready to go outside.

Govindas in Khargar, Navi Mumbai

We could not get a tuk-tuk as all people were going somewhere for the festival so we resorted to walking. When we finally arrived there we learned that the handi was going to be broken later at about 10-11pm. It was too late for Saini's daughters so we walked to the other end of the township to a newly opened Krishna temple to make merit and afterwards we ate prasad. After this it was again back to walking and we arrived to Saini's flat 9pm. Then we watched the rest of the evening Govinda's performing at the more popular sites and I saw a world record being made of a human pyramid of 9 layers high.

Next day I could read from news papers that Mumbaikars had celebrated Janmashtami with great fervour, but not all Govinda's were so lucky. There hadn't been any fatalities but at least 18 are lying in hospital for critical injuries.

1 comment:

CyberCaptain said...

7th Sept Mumbai mirror reported one Govinda died in hospital from his injuries and 4 are permanently paralysed.