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God bless the Sun!

Last night there was yet another party in the streets. Walking home, along Juhu Beach, it was like going against the tide of human waves. Tiring. When you live in India, there are days you get to realize that there are really really a lot of people in this country... Those are the days you wonder if they never get tired of their religious histrionics... It never stops!


People should feel free to express themselves I know, but I am less convinced when the noise under my windows prevents me from sleeping... At the same time I must say the dog that "watches" the open garbage pit at the foot of my building and barks at the donkeys every night at 3 also prevents me from sleeping!

Anyway, no one asks for my opinion regarding festivals, their frequency and their level of nuisance! Adapt or die (or leave!)…


So yesterday it was Chhath Puja. A festival in honor of the God Sun (Surya). In short (apparently the rules are not the same everywhere, and it is mainly a North Indian festival), the devotees must fast for two days and on the morning of the second day, they make their offerings to the rising Sun.


Last night when I left office, people had started settling in to camp on the beach like that:

India,festival,hindu festival,hinduism,religion,Juhu beach,chhath puja,Surya,sun 

And this morning the scene was something like this (while I was sleeping): 

India,festival,hindu festival,hinduism,religion,Juhu beach,chhath puja,Surya,sun

India,festival,hindu festival,hinduism,religion,Juhu beach,chhath puja,Surya,sun

“Under a canopy of sugar cane sticks, clay elephants containing earthen lamps, and containers full of the offerings are placed. There the fire god is worshipped. The offerings characteristically consist of deep-fried and sweet rolls of stone ground wheat flour, grapefruit, whole coconuts, bananas, and grains of lentils. During the puja, these items are contained in small, semicircular pans woven out of bamboo strips called soop.”


More info here:


Views of Mumbai



Night view of the Modern Mumbai, From Aer, Four Seasons, Lower Parel (It is not as sexy in the day light!)




Juhu beach, view from the office, one fine evening



Ganesh immersion in video!

Every year I go see Ganesh departure in the sea… (The idea here is that Ganesh, the God with an elephant head, comes in people’s homes every year and after a couple of days (up to 10) he leaves, carrying everbody’s sins with him in the purifying water.)

But for the first time I went at night on the main day of immersion…

Walking home took me two hours. Partly because it was overcrowded (especially Juhu Tara Road where all the processions happen) and partly because I was so busy filming!


It was amazing to see the joy, the fervour, the passion!

People also kept coming to my mini video camera and smiled and sang.

My ass got groped only twice which is a performance seeing the number of people gathered…


A truly energising and incredible experience!


Pictures of my previous Ganapati festivals are here. 


Here is the short version (10 min) of the 2 hours of shooting I did:


And here the long (30 minute) version!

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