govinda, govinda, govindaaaa

August 24, 2008

see the matka? near the balloons up high? It’s Janmashtmi today. And if you don’t know what that is, look it up. I had to 😀 I mean, I know it’s Krishna’s birthday but having been away from Mumbai for the last 16 Janmashtmis, I had lost sight of both scale, and, urm, commercialization. So, I was educated today (and I confess I called the cops on some enthusiastic dhol beaters at 1am.) By 8 a.m., the loud disco bhajans and cheering crowd told me something was up. Across the house and also behind it, we had what are called Dahi Matkas. To mimic Krishna’s penchant for stealing ghee, they hang this clay pot pretty high and then acrobatic men make a human pyramid to claim it. Then I saw in the papers that the Andheri matka was worth the most money (Rs. 25,000!) I reached Worli and passed several youth in trucks, wearing team shirts, going from locality to locality to win the pot of ‘ghee’ ($$?) The cab driver told me the matkas near my house are “small and not worthwhile.” And then when I got near Banyan Tree, I spotted a team in action.
I later heard that the “small” matka near my house was eventually lowered a bit because all the teams that tried failed to reach it. I don’t know who won but they’re still making a racket!

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6 Responses to “govinda, govinda, govindaaaa”

  1. @chetthaker says:

    Did you miss these events when you were Pardes? Being an NRI I can only watch these on TV but I would like to one day be in India to witness an event. It’s a shame to hear things are becoming commercialised though – but that is everywhere I guess.

  2. Stud says:

    Rs. 25,000???

    Honey, the largest prize this year was in the range of Rs. 20,00,000/-
    Commercialization of these festivities is what they want you to think they’re doing…these events are a huge medium to garner political support from the local gangs and sway loyalties by distributing free clothes, alcohol, food and gifts.
    The whole operation is targeted towards building vote banks within the youth groups in the lower & lower-middle classes…

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  4. Jaya says:

    now why can’t this be an olympic sport ? anybody wanna start a petition ?

  5. Gopal Sea says:

    Today, actually got thinking that the human pyramid n the dahi matkas are a lot like politics in this country.

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