There we are returning from Daman. And somewhere close to Daman, we see a sea of safron walking. On a pilgrimage. There are boys. Young men. And some sprinkling of women.

There are autorickshaws. Tempos. Cars. Bikes. Et el. Most sport saffron. We drive fast. And the sea of orange whizzes by. Or rather we whizz by. The orange seems to be an unending sea.

Curiosity gets the better of us. We stop at a bridge. And enquire, part in sign language and part in Hindi. The pilgrims are only too happy to talk. And they talk about the month of Shravan. And a pilgrimage.

And as we speak, many more just walk by. And i wonder, if walking comes naturally to India! My mind races to the pilgrimage of Sabarimala. Palani. Velankanni. Shirdi. All have thousands of people walking many many kilometers. And most times without footwear.

With all that, i wonder if Keep Walking was a slogan that Johny Walker picked up from India and its scriptures. And at that moment, i decide to keep my grand discovery hush hush. i don’t want some lofty custodian of moral values find one more reason to stage a protest or disrupt parliament ! Sigh !

And just a few hours back, we witness a ceremony. By the 400 year old fort. Someone has passed away. And the 14th day rituals are on. At least, that’s what a local tells us. Its a simple, sombre ceremony.

Where a paraphernalia of flowers, coconuts, garlands and such else are immersed into the river. Just as it meets the sea.

And the fort just looks on. Stoically. Perhaps its seen one too many of such ceremonies. After all 400 years is no small time.

Just a while earlier than that, we spot this banner. Narial Purnima is the coconut festival. Where coconuts are offered to the sea God.

But this is the city folk celebrating.

Mehendi is at 10.00 am. And then something called ‘Mass Drawing’ at 11.30 am. And ofcourse, there seems to be an interesting event called ‘mummy’s dance’ ! (with an apostrophe). And because theres nothing else mentioned there, the Mummy’s dance perhaps goes on till 6.00 PM.

Hmm. Seems to be an interesting festival. I am sure there must be something that i am unable to get here. We try talking to the local fishermen. We discover the importance and profoundness of the festival for them. They speak of coconuts, puja and the sea God.

I prod them some more, about ‘Mehendi’, ‘Mass Drawing’ and ‘Mummy’s dance’. All i receive is a stoic silence.

And since then, i have rued the fact,that i didn’t get to see the ‘Mehendi’, ‘Mass Drawing’ and ‘Mummy’s dance’. Yes, the same ones that were sponsored by the tourism department.

16 thoughts on “Events

  1. Neha says:

    on the way to shirdi, you will spot many people going walking for the darshan…good god, I always feel so very nostalgic after reading ur posts about daman…nani daman, moti daman – that is how they refer to these places outta thr..mass drawing might be a drawing competition for all the age groups..n yeah, mummy’s dance u missed..:)

    very nice one..loved it 🙂

  2. Pearl says:

    What a fascinating part of the world you live in, Kavi.

    Although I suspect that anywhere you lived would be fascinating. And rightly so.

    Now if only we had a picture of the “mummy’s dance”!


  3. lol…the Johny Walker stuff was well said!!!
    Mummy dance hahaha only seen on Boogie Woogie!!

  4. Lou says:

    What a fascinating, strange land. So many different beliefs, yet people do not bother each other about their practices.

    The organized religions in the US often point fingers at each other about who is “better” in the eyes of God. The complete opposite of what religion is supposed to be:(

  5. good to see some other pilgrims out there… I need to do more walking though.

  6. Rush says:

    Mummys dance? should have waited to watch the piece and shared some pictures..that wud have been fun!!

  7. sujata says:

    these saffron clad men and women walking is so common across the entire span of India, as a child I would get a bit scared of them, but then I took them as a part of life, then at times are the fakirs in green and carrying a small broom like thing in their hands and then also there is a common sight in parts of maharashtra where a man dressed wierdly in a multi coloured skirt flogs himself time and again..

  8. Jeevan says:

    I used to see sometimes back, lines of Christian pilgrims pass our street playing songs and giving bit notice to those pass on. Walking thousands of people more than thousand kms wonder and we never know there struggle and without passion it’s impossible.

    Through this post I learn a new festival Narial Purnima!

    ‘mummy’s dance’ sounds interesting kavi! we miss it here as u were…

  9. Then there is the Palkhi during Ashadhi Ekadashi when the Warkaris walk to Pandharpur. Unconcerned with the heat,sun,wind,rain and the burning road, they seem to be energized simply by their faith. Everytime I see it , I feel so humbled.

    And I just noticed that all those strangely named competitions are being conducted by the Bal bhavan. So I am pretty sure that Mass Drawing is drawing competitions for kids. The Mummy’s dance is probably a performance by the women . Maybe Koli women. Narali Purnima is a huge festival for the Kolis.

  10. nsiyer says:

    ‘Keep Walking’ and ‘Johny Walker’- terrible you are Kavi. But I love the connections you can bring.

  11. ♥ Braja says:

    Happy Janmastami, Kavi 🙂

  12. KK says:

    Guess you should have waited and watched Mummy’s dance is… now you have made us all curious on what it could be???? ummmm…..

  13. Although I may not agree with the faith, I do admire the tenacity and determination of these barefoot pilgrims.

    And of the shoe-clad mummies who can dance till the evening!

  14. Kavi says:

    Neha : Thank you ! i am glad that these Daman series gets a few memories going for you !! yes. Nani Daman and Moti Daman are names that i am reasonably familiar with now !

    Pearl : I guess the world is a beautiful place. If only we have the eyes ! Now, there is this ego in full pump ! 🙂

    And yes, i have spent many sleepless nights over this Mummys dance. 😉 I mean i wonder if it will be on the likes of the movies…like The Mummy Returns !

    NR : LOL ! boogie woogie !! LOL !!

    Lou : Hmm. Well, oflate, people have been bothering quite a bit. But by and large, we are ok, with the man next door doing his own thing ! 🙂

    And that one about religion, you are bang on !

    Christine : LOL !! Yes. There are so many pilgrims indeed !! All over the world ! And some strange ones too ! 😉

    Rush : I have been getting some nightmares about it. Especially wondering what i missed ! 😉

    Sujata : Oh boy !! I have had exactly the same thoughts and feelings. EXACTLY ! and infact, i have been thinking of a post about each variety. Some day !! We think quite alike !

    Jeevan : Yes, man !! This Mummys Dance bit has caught on to fellow bloggers as well !! 🙂

    Ugich Konitari : I mean, you got of the plane and started browsing ! ;D

    Thanks !! And now, yes, such walks and pilgrimages are not only humbling they just showcase what people are capable of !! Isnt it !

    NS IYer : thank you sir ! I indeed am terrible ! I accept ! 😉

    Braja : Happy janmashtami to you too !! Thanks for remembering me !

    KK : What do i say mate ! What do i say !! I just wish !! 😉

    Sucharita : You bet. The tenacity and the capacity to go on and on, in the company of sweltering heat, tar ridden roads, and blaring horns requires some nerve and faith.

    About the shoe clad mummies…well, i dont know much ! 🙂

  15. Aleta says:

    I would have stopped to ask about the people walking too. It makes for a lovely view that orange hue. You bring a lot of culture and history to your blog, what a blessing!

  16. annu says:

    Happy Janmastami,

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