Sep 8, 2003

Mu.ngDaa Mu.ngDaa...

Chaandii ki Daal par sone ka mor...

There's a good chance that if you were in Pune and found yourself in the midst of loudspeakers blaring the above songs that you were at the headquarters of the local brass band about to practise these paarty-shaarty songs at the next wedding. Even more likely, however, especially if the month was September, would be that you were at your neighbourhood Ganpati pandal.

The only time I stayed up all night and ventured into the vargaNi crowds in the City was three years ago, where I found, like everywhere else, the preponderance of the Lord being heralded by some incredibly awful and kitschy music. I know the time is also that of a social occasion, but it should also be spiritually uplifting, should it not? There is in my mind, no excuse for louts dancing crudely in misstep to the latest chartbuster. Thankfully Tilak isn't in a grave, left to turn. I'm sure he could make an exception for other places and let loose a thunderous tirade to express his anger, but his beloved Pune? It would break his heart too.

OK, I don't participate too much in the festival myself, so I don't know if it should preclude me from armchair criticism. But hopefully (and someone like my friend Nikhil who lives in the eye of the storm should be able to confirm this) they're not playing ChaDtii Jawanii and Kaa.nta lagaa this year. In these times, I think I'll take this much devotion.

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