Saturday, August 28, 2010

Govinda Aalaa Re…

Hey, I am not talking about Bollywood film star Govinda. I am talking about ‘Govinda’ who burst the Dahi-Handi or Matki on Janmashtami Day. (For those who even don’t know what Janmashtami is – it was the day or rather night on which Shree Krishna was born. The next day is celebrated to enjoy this great event.)

All Indian festivals have a hidden meaning behind it which we have forgotten today but we love to celebrate, enjoy and hence we celebrate all the Indian (and some of the foreign) festivals pompously, with lot of enthusiasm and at times with lot of money too! But some of the festivals we celebrate completely forgetting the very idea behind the festival only to have fun and may be for some other dirty motives. Dahi-Handi is such one festival.

To celebrate Krishna’s birth is just one reason but why burst Dahi filled Matki? Do we know? There is an interesting story behind it. In Gokul, where lord Krishna spent his childhood there were lot of cows and there was lot of Butter produced. Neighbouring village of Mathura was ruled by demon Kans (Krishna’s maternal uncle) and all the butter produced in Gokul had to be exported to Mathura and the poor people and children of Gokul were unfortunate and could not enjoy their own home-grown Makkhan.

When Krishna came to know about this, he made a plan. This Makkhan or butter was stored in the Matkis tied in the homes of Gokul-niwasees. So what Krishna did was, he gathered his Gowala-friends (or Govinda) and made pyramid like structure and burst this Matkis filled with Butter (or Dahi which is not actually the correct translation of butter) and shared it with all his Gowala-friends so that it was consumed before being exported to Mathura. This was even the poor Gowala-Friends of Krishna who could not afford to have Makkhan, got to eat it! What a noble cause and what a great task!

But today, we celebrate Matki utsav with the prizes of Lakhs of Rupees. Who gains out of it? Sometimes Govindas are not even awarded with the prize money announced. The gain is of Politicians who have made the festival a dirty celebration by associating large sums of money with it and by making the whole city a battle ground on this day.

This year there is a prize of Rs. 25 Lakhs announced for bursting the Dahi-handi and that’s not all. There is going to be Gold Dahi-handi, bollywood stars, Laavani Dance shows, DJ, Prizes of Mobile and ambulance and plethora of other attractive prizes. What is all these for? Enjoyment, fun. And Politicians purely have ulterior motive of getting mileage and publicity. They encourage higher and higher pyramids made by Govindas (There has to be ten or more layers for 25 Lakh prize money this year) but if a Govinda dies or accidentally looses his limb or becomes handicap no politician would go and look after him and his family. There are insurance going to be provided to Govindas this year but what about the loss of life or a limb of a human being?

There are other problems like Traffic Jam, tussle between two or more Govinda groups, Drunk Govindas driving rashly and carelessly on streets causing accidents or other untoward incidents and more.

How women can be left behind? This is equality-age and this year even women Govinda Teams will burst Matkis and have claimed equal amount of prize money.

I love all Indian festivals and love celebrating them with enthusiasm and great fervour but hate this indecent, abnormal urbanized avatar of them.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sachin Tendulkar Book controversy

A few days ago I came across a news piece on Sachin Tendulkar's autobiographical type book with collection of some rare pictures of his life. There were many salient features of this book such as only ten copies of this book were going to be published and they were priced at a whopping price of around Thirty Seven Lakh Indian rupees.(only good part was this whole amount was supposed to go for charity purpose) but
the main attraction (?) of this book was that each copy of the book was supposed to contain Sachin Tendulkar's autograph with his own blood!
Now this made me restless! I thought how Sachin Tendulkar could have agreed to do such a stunt? Though neither I am a sports person nor do I have any special liking for cricket, I surely have special respect for Sachin. He most certainly is a great Indian personality and is also a good human being. So definitely this piece of news about his blood-signed book made me think negative about the whole idea and Sachin himself. Look at the media power! It can surely change perceptions. I was not happy about this news.
After reading this news in all major newspapers, finally there was clarification by Sachin Tendulkar himself that he had not agreed to sign copies of this book with his blood and this false piece of information was complete rubbish. Now came the clarification from the publishers that they were misunderstood and misquoted by the media. If such was the case why the clarification came by Sachin first? This was a cheap publicity stunt. Even for a good cause one shall not rely on such petty measures. Media also has a responsibility. It shall verify the facts before publishing news but in today's cut throat competition that cares about veracity of any news item? 'We shall be the first to break the news' is the mantra of any news agency, news paper.
Thank God Sachin didn't sign the book with his blood!