Its Delhi V/S Mumbai. Again.
Jatin Kalra is very worried. A small droplet of sweat appears on his ample forehead and slowly, lovingly it trickles down his temple, it does not want to leave. JK flicks it to oblivion with practiced ease and an impeccable technique. While the appearance of the offensive droplet is not really surprising in Delhi in early October it is very unusual within the confines of the ice age cold office of Goibibo.com.
The reason JK is worried is that he is committed to nine days without cigarettes, without gutka, without whiskey, without kukkad-sukkad. He will observe the Nauratra’s out of his own free will but he is dreading their onset with cold sweat and shivering palms. JK’s Nauratra’s are not simply symbolic, he actually even stops drinking Chai-shai for those nine days.
He goes down to the local Mata-Ki-Chowki to listen to some Path-Shath.
He goes to the local Ram-Leela at least once. Here is a picture of Raja Janak with Mata Sita.
And as a sign of the changing times he also has started going to see some of the Durga Pooja Pandals
Ravindra Bhonsale is excited as he sits near his window and stares out at the pouring rain. His palms are twitching with anticipation; his feet are tapping out patterns on the faded linoleum floor. His body is inadvertently moving to Roto drum rhythms and his mind is banging with the moves he is planning to execute. He has been practicing hard and preparing his knuckles for the whacks they are going to get.
The Dandiya floor at his local Navratra festival is a buzzing beehive of activity. The ground has been cleared; the lights are being put up, the stage is set for the arrival of the Durga idol. The people will celebrate with nine nights of dance; many a romance will start out with the click-clack of sticks. Guys and girls with lush costumes and fantastic moves will first impress then woo each other.
Its magical, musical and romantic and RB has decided that this year he will talk to that girl from the next colony. He has been preparing for this moment for the past three years and everytime he gets his courage up …WHACK…. she hits him with her Dandiya. This time his knuckles will be ready like Jackie Chan in the Drunken Master.
The girls meanwhile have their own plans.
Travel Tip – Travelling by train, bus or flights with Dandiya sticks is allowed. (Two per person). By Rajesh Baruah