Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Keechad Handi '08

Following the IDC tradition of creating and maintaining traditions, this year too, our enthusiastic and industrious juniors arranged a fantastic dahi handi bashing programme for IDC. Everything was arranged perfectly, messages and mails were sent out to everyone, asking them to come and be a part of the celebrations (and to quote the mail, wear good clothes as well).

Following the IDC tradition, it was an hour after the appointed hour and most of the folks had not shown up yet. The celebrations were to be preceded by a ceremony of restoring justice: making all those who had escaped their fate during the vacations, face their punishment meted out because they too committed that grave crime that is to be born. To put it in a simpler way, twelve people had their birthdays during the vacations, and we were all more than eager to beat them up. There was a double sized cake this time and all preparations were in order, except that the birthday boys and gals were still awaited.

The Birthdays

Finally when the waiting got too boring, we decided to proceed as it is. There were four of the birthday boys present and they would do the honours on behalf of all twelve. Of course, after they cut the cake and everybody sang and clapped for them, they also received the honours on behalf of all twelve. The hapless four were Karthik, Chacha, Dhuri and Chetan. As it had always been, they were wished on three separate levels: there was the cake, which people made sure entered every hole on the face except that which it is supposed to enter. There also was very very hard back slapping. And of course, there was the most favourite ass kicking which also got appended with ass slapping with chappals and floaters. These ceremonies were liberally accompanied by water being sprayed from a pipe. Of course, these three levels of blessings did not come in any particular order, rather, towards the end, they actually came in the way of each other. Once mercy, that seldom known feeling, finally started to show up, people decided that the four had learnt enough lessons for the twelve. But hey, there was water still running from the pipe. So the usual suspects were thrown in next. There was parmar, ujjwal, hemanth followed by several girls who thought they could just stand by and watch the show.

The Mud

Once this started, of course, we had no trouble taking things to the next level of filth. There were random sudden attacks of buckets filled with coloured water, plastic bag balloons bursting hard and cold on to the body, and while this was going on, also came the dreaded mud attack. One by one, it was made sure that nobody standing out there in front of IDC looked any different from the other. Within just an hour of pulling, pushing, splashing, hitting, rubbing, ultrasonic screaming and more of all of that in the wet gooey filthy mud, people out there looked no different than chocolate ice creams of various shapes and sizes. Of course, if you bury a person in wet filthy mud just once, he/she just walks up to the pipe and cleans up. So one round was not enough. There were several rounds and almost everyone had visited the mud shrine of filthiness at least twice. C2 apparently had led himself to believe that he was personally responsible for taking care of just *one* area of the body of every guy that was pulled into the shrine.

Although this whole event was thoroughly dirty and gooey, and although we knew this meant at least two hours in the bathroom, we all were enjoying it. I guess the reason was that behind those layers of mud, during that incessant grinding, somewhere we also lost our guards. We could be our natural selves again. We could be human again, in the natural, animal sense.

Finally, when people realized that they cant even identify who the other was to be able to shout his name and pull him into the shrine, they stopped. That’s when we all realized: Dahi handi! Poor pot had been hanging high up there looking down upon us as we soaked ourselves in filth, waiting.

The Dahi Handi

So now was the time to break the pot. The guys went first. Eight of the bigger, sturdier ones came together to form the base, holding each other around the shoulders. Then the next level guys started climbing on to the base ( some of them unceremoniously; as Palash later complained that someone used pocket as a stepping stone and lowered his already appallingly low pants ) Once the next level was ready, the final guy started to climb, but hell, where’s the fun if it gets done in the first attempt? The pyramid obviously collapsed. But our wills were still intact and so, we rose back from our mud so to say, and again went through the process: the base got together after making sure that the spine, the hand and well, palash’s pants were not an option for stepping on. Then came the next tier and when those four were in place, up went Ujji. And lo behold! He did it! Even with all the mud and water being thrown at us from the gals, we did it.

Then it was the gals turn. Although there was a *slight* delay as we struggled to put the new handi up, the gals did not let their pluck and eagerness wane away. Once the handi was hanging again, filled so much with mud that it actually was tilting a little, the ladies started their pyramid. The base came into place, and then the next level girls started to climb. But there was too much mud and water being thrown at them and one of them buckled under the pressure. One girl came down from the first tier and the whole structure gave way. But hey, at IDC, failure is a comrade! The base was back in no time, and this time, the guys also stood by to help the first tier girls climb on. The mud and water attacks were stopped as the first tier started to steady itself. It would have been a spectacular show, but there was an unfortunate accident. A girl that was in the first tier, slipped and fell to the ground, landing, to her bad luck, directly on her back. The pyramid was immediately dispersed and we tried to make sure she was ok. After a little help and time, she was back on her feet, but now nobody was of course wanting to see the handi break. The handi was lowered (Ujji broke that one too, his swollen hand is an irrefutable proof) and as the girl was helped out of the ground, proceedings started to come to a halt. The water was stopped, and a few people who were still filled with enthusiasm, continued playing in the mud that was remaining even as pictures were getting clicked.

And so, after an exhilarating, filthy, happy, gross, exciting, dirty, enthusiastic, wet evening, we all uncomfortably waddled back to our hostels carrying enough mud on us to build another earth. We all hurried as fast as we could to go back and clean ourselves to be able to feel, well, human again :)

Moments :

Note: Photos in increasing order of filth.