Free hit counter


By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.


Religion in the societies

In India, it is important to choose your building well… And its inhabitants!! Because what they call “society” will not let you free… All the bored people (the retired ones, the housewives, the servants, the watchmen) will find your life worthy of being watched…


This is how, in Pune, I had a hard-time finding a “society” that would accept a non-married French-Indian couple. The landlords were cool about it. But they had to ask the permission of the “society”!!


Then, once I arrived in Mumbai, I moved into a Sindhi “society” – Sindhis are the Hindus who came from Pakistan after the partition. Nothing special to say apart from the fact they all were Sindhis.


And then, when I shifted to my new building, I was very happy to discover a catholic “society” - I thought that they would be a little less “conservative” that the others but well, not really. In short, in my building, there are only Rodriguez, Pereira, Rebello etc. families and this makes me laugh every time I see the board with all the names! And then, one fine day, I get a note from my “society” stating that the annual meeting took place and in  introduction: “after praying, we started the meeting…” Would be interesting to try that in France!

We are also regularly invited for masses (for birthdays, deaths etc) in our small garden. At least this brings people together...


The most constraining “societies” might be the Muslim ones, from what I heard. A French friend was accepted in one of them only because her husband was Muslim. And in another one, the French guy promised not to bring in alcohol nor pork.


No judgment here. It is just a little surprising, at the beginning.


Ganesh Factory

Here we are, it is the end of the harvest, the beginning of the festivities. When the rain will stop it and then we will fully enjoy!!

We entered the Ganapati time, the festival of Ganesh which I am quite familiar with nowll! (see ).


And this year, while going to see the Krishna celebrations, I discovered a Ganesh workshop near Elphinston station. And not just any Ganesh, giant ones, those of the temples.

Simply impressive…


Ganapati preparations, Mumbai - Août 2011



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.”