It’s taken a while to happen … but finally very pleased to see a double page spread in the latest edition of Australian Photography magazine showcasing an image I made at a Hindu Dahi Handi event in Mumbai … and my story of how this image came about.
The pic was made back in September ’18 on a working visit to Mumbai which coincided with the annual festival of Krishna Janmashtami … one of the most important festivals in India which celebrates the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, one of the most widely revered gods of Hinduism.
At once a religious celebration and a sport (it was classified by the government as an adventure sport in 2014), Dahi Handi is performed the day after Lord Krishna’s birthday every year on what seems like almost every street in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Teams of up to a hundred young ‘Govindas’ form human pyramids in an attempt to reach and smash a pot … the ‘Handi’ … filled with yoghurt and suspended tens of metres above them. The event is based on the legend that a baby Lord Krishna used creative ways to steal milky treats which were supposedly hung high out of reach.
Two India based good friends … S Anand Singh from Varanasi and Mumbai based former pic ed Srienivas Akella … thankfully joined me as we navigated Mumbai’s manic rail system across town to one of the best Dahi Handi venues. The pyramid building (bottom image) was breathtaking and not without incident … but I kept coming back to an image I made of a ritual performed by one of the teams. One of the Mumbai media photographers passed on a tip to watch out for this ritual performance of togetherness and team work before commencement of their pyramid build. The image was made from the fourth floor balcony of an adjoining residential block. Many teams around the surrounding streets got into serious pyramid building and pot smashing … but only one team seemed to perform this ritual.
The full story and the image itself across the fold can be seen in the Australian Photography March edition available at newsagents across the land … (or you may be able to just about make out the words on the magazine pages grab below 🙂 )
My Thanks to Australian Photography editor Mike O’Connor for the run.
Images © Brian Cassey, & publication Australian Photography magazine