Monday, 29 August 2011


To celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna, (most) parts of India celebrate a festive called Janmashtami, a.k.a. Gokulashtami. Traditionally, a handi (pronounced: haandee, i.e. earthenware pot) is filled with dahi (pronounced: dahee, i.e. yoghurt) and tied on to a rope that is suspended across say, two apartment buildings. This would be at a height of more feet than I'd ever like - somewhere in the range of 30 - 40. Ulp. What needs to be done is pretty simple - or not. Human pyramids need to be formed, to reach the handi, break it, and have the dahi spill over. Often, these pyramids have anywhere between four to five tiers, with a child atop the pyramid to smash the handi. There are local youth groups that vie for this 'contest', seeing that there is a cash prize attached to each such handi, ranging from between INR 10000 - INR 100000, or sometimes even more.

Thought I'd do a pictorial representation for you, given that this is the first time ever that I'd decided to watch the action live myself. Why? Am not sure this is my idea of fun, or a sport, seeing that the pyramid-ers work sans helmets, knee/ elbow pads, harnesses... you get my drift. What's enjoyable about possibly falling off the formation, breaking a limb or two - or worse? Anyway, that's for another post, steeped in reality checks.

Interim, here goes:
Step 1: Getting to the venue, on bikes (see - no helmets), or atop a truck.

Step 2: Behold the goal!

Step 3: Pyramid in formation.

Step 4: Err, a shot of these guys actually breaking the handi? Urm, my camera didn't cooperate. I was too late to click. Anyhoo, what's imagination for?

Go on, y'all know how you would whack a pinata, eh?

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