Independent Film Maker and Photographer Ritam Talukdar is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography. To follow Ritam’s photo journeys click on any image.
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Janmashtami also known as Krishnashtami actually describes the birthday of Lord Krishna, who is believed to be the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. Born in Mathura over 5000 years ago, the celebration of his birth takes place in August or September. The celebration goes on for two days and the first and second day is consecutively known as Gokulashtami and Janmashtami.
"His birth brought about the end of all the evils and led us to salvation and peace. Evil can at last be defeated."
He was born to Vasudev and Devki but was brought up by Nand and Yashoda. The birth of Lord Krishna has a symbolic importance in our Hindu religion. His original parents were imprisoned by Devki’s evil brother Kansa and his birth happened to take place in captivity. This imprisonment describes the closure we experience in worldly illusions. His birth brought about the end of all the evils and led us to salvation and peace. Evil can at last be defeated.
There are strange ways in which people celebrate this auspicious day. They fast and chant Shri Krishna’s glory by reciting and singing his divine leela in the evenings. Children can be seen at all times dressed as Lord Krishna and Radhika, his spiritual beloved. Butter or Makkhan is especially included in every dish, prepared, since Krishna was always after it in his childhood.
The most popular ceremony among these two days is the Dahi Handi Celebration which happens to take place in the second day. The earthenware full of milk and its derivatives is suspended from a height between 20 to 40 feet. Sporting young men who immerse themselves in fast and all sorts of religious mannerisms related with the celebration of these two days come forward to claim the prize. They construct a human pyramid by standing over each other’s shoulders till the pyramid is tall enough the reach the earthenware. The topmost person breaks the pot to claim the prize by breaking it.
Many teams were there on this place, to celebrate this occasion and the rush of the people along with some old hindi songs created a panicking situation for the young ones. The dazzling disco lights and the old folk songs made the place look like a small Vrindavan with women chanting the Krishna leela from all sides. The visibility of the happy innocent faces really set the mood for me, to enjoy the moment, doubling my happiness.
Pune, Maharashtra, India
Harsh Life, Displayed Variably On Streets!
By Ritam Talukdar