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How to celebrate a birthday properly?? Climbing on each other...

Last Monday was celebrated Janmashtami, Krishna’s birthday – Krishna being an avatar of Vishnu. I had a glimpse of this God in Majuli (see


I was told that in “Maharashtra, people enact the god’s childhood attempts to steal butter and curd from earthen pots beyond his reach. A similar pot is suspended high above the ground and groups of young people [also called Govindas] form human pyramids to try and reach the pot and break it.”*


So obviously I had to see that…

My friend was not so comfortable bringing a white girl into Indian crowds and I was told to dress from head to toes. But I got to see it!!

We went to Lalbaug, in Parel, one of the best spots apparently. There, on a big ground, with a stage in the back, were three pots hanging and many pyramids coming up and down. All trying to break the pots and get a prize for it (up to 90,000 Rs – 1,200€)!!


It started raining but the enthusiasm was not showered away!!


I could not really understand how they break the pot because some teams could sometimes have done it but did not. Maybe they were just training? But I did see a pot getting broken!!


Another interesting tradition – which could have proven very dramatic for my camera recently saved from waters – is kids sending water bombs.



Govinda festival, Mumbai - Août 2011



*”Krishna made cowherdesses happy by the bliss of his cosmic dances and the soulful music of his flute. He stayed in Gokul, the legendary 'cow-village' in Northern India for 3 years and 4 months. As a child he was reputed to be very mischievous, stealing curd and butter and playing pranks with his girl friends or gopis.”



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