It was an as usual tiring day from office and I alighted at Andheri Station to walk home at around 7:30 pm. As I walked home, I see this huge procession on the road. First my cautious brain stopped me and said, is it a religious fest and am I gonna be held up in the midst of it.???
Then the sight of what I saw, not only gave a sense of relief but also an exuberating feel that I am blessed to witness the Chatrapathi Shivaji Jayanthi on Feb 19th.
Chatrapathi Shivaji was born in Feb 19, 1627 to Jijabai and Shahaji Bhonsle. He was named after a local Goddess Shivai. He was known for his knowledge on Hindu epics of Ramayana and Mahabaratha, which were constantly inculcated into him by his mother. He was known for his love towards his mother. And more than everything else, he was known for his military powers and the establishment of the Maratha Empire. Well, a little flashbacks from my History books from those lovely school days.
Coming back to Andheri, what I witnessed first was truck, essentially a tableau of Chatrapathi Shivaji’s golden colored bust with people dressed up as soldiers guarding on either sides.
This was followed by several people dressed up as Chatrapathi Shivaji riding on horses. This was followed by the traditional Powada Dance of Maharashtra which a tribute to Chatrapathi Shivaji. I personally found this Powada Dance similar to Oyilattam of Tamil Nadu, essentially a folk dance having a fabric in hand with an astonishing leg beat. With my never fading love for folk dances, this was refreshing since the last time I enjoyed in Mylapore Panguni Bramhothsavam.
I had a perfect evening listening to the unstoppable beats and energizing rhythm at the end of the day. Only I wished I could come across such a performance on every lazed lethargic afternoons which can re-energize me to run non-stop for the second innings of the day. I hope to upload the video of the spectacular performance, if I get a good video compressor software (the original file is 34 mb, gotta reduce it!) soon. Let's see.!
About the procession:
On Feb 19th every year, Chatrapathi Shivaji Jayanthi is celebrated in a grand way all over Maharashtra. In Mumbai these processions happen everywhere on roads and public and private grounds and parks.