Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wari time!

Tumhari adaon pe mein wari wari… a friend cracked a stupid joke when I told him that I am supposed to cover some wari stories. For the uninitiated, a wari or a procession is an annual thing in Maharashtra, Pune to be precise. It is carried out in the Hindu month of Ashadha. Two palkhis- one of Saint Tukaram comes from Dehu and other of Saint Dnyaneshwar which comes from Alandi and they both together head to the holy town of Pandharpur.

Yesterday I (for the first time) was a part of the wari for 2 odd-kilometres (from Shivajinagar to FC Road). It was nice seeing pilgrims dressed in colourful clothes and all in a festive fervour dancing and swaying to the beat of the dholaks. The palkhi-rath was decorated beautifully and adorned with flowers and there was a mad rush to take the darshan.

Also being a bandh-day, the FC road was almost traffic free and a pleasant one to walk on. We were on a photo taking spree. The pilgrims posed for us in enthusiasm. Little children dressed in dhoti kurta and navvari sari were amongst some of the eye-catchers. The walk was surprisingly refreshing even in the crowd. Me and some of my mad friends ganged up and watched the procession sitting on a bank’s katta. We bought some funny toys and started honking some toy pipes (pipani). Some people stared at us with disgust but then, we were lost in our childhood, teasing and taunting each other.

We then headed to a newly opened plush coffee shop after soaking in the rain and watching the palkhi pass-by. (What an irony!) The only thing being that the owner of the café won’t allow us in anymore!

We really did have a wari-ffic time! ;)

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