Ingenious Jhanki Decoration
Simple decoration items were used to adorn the temple area. The stuff used was not expensive but surely required lot of time, effort and manpower to execute. I was reminded of how I would think out of the box ideas every year to decorate the temple with flowers, rangoli, diwali lights and paper decorations. Jhanki was staged in our verandah and random strangers visited and appreciated our creativity and use of science. My personal favourite were those small boats moving around in water and the Kansh karagar (Jail in which Kansh had imprisoned Krishna’s parents).
Girls and boys styled as Radha, Krishan and Gopi were made to sit atop a tempo with loud bhakti songs playing and paraded around the city. The kids were totally in the character, playing flute and giving blessings.
School kids practice and prepare at least a month in advance to perform on the stage. The program popularly known as Orchestra invariably begins with a performance on a religious song, thereafter followed by tadak-bhadak Bollywood dance numbers. The interesting part of every orchestra would be the host – a super excited person who feels free to say anything and everything on mike, recite lame shayari and stupid jokes but is always cheered the loudest.
“Arre bhai taaliyan ki aawaz sunai nahi di, bhookh lag gayi kya? Jara ek baar aur joordar taaliyon se swagat kariye hamare agle nanhe kalakar ka” (basically persuading the audience to clap louder)
And who won’t remember these?
“Ek chota sa chutkula jab tak backstage hamare artist ready ho rahe hain” (I’ll recite a tiny joke while our artists get ready backstage) (said in a heavy modulated voice).
Excited Parents All Around
Excited parents (that also includes me) dressed their kids as Krishna and flaunted them everywhere. Though the kids looked divine but I sometimes think what must be going on inside their mind, “Kya joker bana diya. Itni garmi bhi lag rahi hai iss dress mein. Arre mummy, aap ka ho gaya ho toh mujhe please shorts and ganji mei change kar do” (Mom, it’s too hot and I’m wearing this heavy dress. If you’re done with the hullaballoo, please change me into tees and shorts)
Thus I enjoyed my Janmashtami in simple desi style.