Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
Mumbai celebrates Krishna’s birthday with a dramatic ritual sport : making human pyramids to reach and break a pot of milk that is suspended high between two buildings.
Krishna stole milk and home-churned butter from the neighbourhood housewives and this ritual sport re-enacts that act of mischief.
Krishna’s – is a human avatar of Vishnu – and to demonstrate his humanness, there are many legends about his petty thefts and his flirtations. In his case, given the rest of his strengths, these little black marks are endearing.
And so the city celebrates the birthday with “Dahi-Handi’ in almost every neighbourhood.
Some are sponsored by local politicians but many are just organised by local people.
Prize money for a handi as high as 3 floors may be as little as Rs. 3000. And yet many groups come and try their luck and skill at breaking these pots.
Crowded roads filled with buses, rickshaws and people come to a standstill to watch the “govinda’s” make attempt after attempt to break the handi or pot.
A video of an unsuccessful attempt in a locality near my home