During a Dahi Handi in Mumbai



This was the 48th post (Day 48) of an entire year-long series, which I named ‘Project 365′. The idea was simple enough: travel for a full year and document every day of it, in the form of a daily picture and poem. I am still working on a book of this year-long travel, but till then, enjoy all the posts here. You can check out the daily posts in the details below or jump to the final day of the project by clicking here.


18th August 2014 – Mumbai, India

The microphones blared Euro-trash, EDM and Marathi.
The music doesn’t matter, what matters is that you try.
To build dreams on your neighbor’s sore shoulders.
In this kaleidoscope of colors, that is called Mumbai.
Dahi handi mumbai

The human pyramid was so huge, I couldn’t even capture it in it’s entirety.

Of all the days that I choose to be in Mumbai, I had amazingly chosen the day of Krishna Janmashtami. This is the birthday of the Hindu deity Krishna, who was the eighth avatar of Vishnu. I am not going into the family lineage here, because even I haven’t figured it out yet. But anyway, on this day people celebrate different habits of Krishna, by different methods. One of which is Dahi Handi.

It is said that Krishna used to steal butter as a little kid, making him an adorable little character who would have sent nubile Japanese girls into a frenzy in our times. In memory of him stealing the Dahi (Butter) from a pot (handi), people celebrate his birthday by building a human pyramid, and reaching out and breaking a pot of buttermilk that is hung way up. Seriously, when you see that the pot is hanging on a crane, you should know that IT IS way up!!


Further Reading: If you are not into human pyramids, check out the real pyramids of Saqqara and Memphis in Egypt!


This is a competition by the way, held by the local authorities in different parts of the city. Each team gets 3 attempts to reach the top, and break the pot. There is an inherent amount of risk involved in this game, as Dahi handi causes atleast 250 injuries each year, and mindless sound pullution and traffic congestion. But the prize money is said to negate all the risky elements for the participants. Well, it is India. If it works that way, it works that way.

It’s been 2 weeks in India already. See you all, hopefully, in UAE tomorrow.



Click here for the previous day’s post. Or you can follow this project from Day 0, by clicking here


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Unless mentioned otherwise, all pictures are taken by the blog admin. If you would like to use them for any commercial or non-commercial purposes, please contact for approval.

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About Abhi Surendran

Abhi quit his corporate job, and decided to immerse himself in travels, photography, occasional periods of bankruptcy, and copious amounts of insanity. He is currently working on a book of his experiences, and a dream road trip through South Asia. Both in a haphazard fashion. He blogs at Iamnothome and you can also catch him at times on Facebook and twitter.

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