Today, Bollywoody Govinda was celebrated. This brings back some memories. When B R Chopra’s teleserial Mahabharat was telecast on Doordarshan, I was studying and was fascinated by it. This was my first exposure to the epic. This is because when we were brought up we were taught that this is one of the Hindu epics that should not be read at home. Bhagavad Geeta is ok to be read at home because of the moral values that Lord Krishna has explained in it need to be applied in day-to-day lives.
In the B R Chopra’s Mahabharat, the role of Lord Krishna was played by Dr. Nitish Bharadwaj, who studied veterinary medicine. When I entered into journalism, I got a chance to interview him since he was making the teleserial Geeta Rahasya, himself. Mom also wanted to meet him. Accordingly, Mom and I reached the location. The moment he got a break from one of the scenes, I hurried toward him and said, “Hi, Lord Krishna, I am Gayatri Rao and I have come to interview you.” And Mom did a namaste. She doesn’t shake hands with men.
He told me to wait as he wanted to check on the recording. Within minutes, he returned and told me that he would not be able to give me an interview, right then. He also said that he would call me back to fix another appointment. He never did! I got occupied with other things in my professional and private life and did not get a chance to call him, too. I wonder if he got frightened of me, of all the people! His behavior revealed fear for some reason. 🙂
The second incident that I would like to share is about the Dahi Handi that is celebrated on the day after Janmashtami. Just before Janmashtami about 4 years back, I had attended a conference on the future of the print media due to the advent of the digital. I reported the presentations by different delegates and had interviewed some of them, for a print publication. During a break, I was at the cafeteria for some snacks and coffee.
Some of the female delegates from abroad asked me about some people climbing on others. Initially, I did not understand what they were saying. Soon, I realized that they were talking about Dahi Handi where a group of guys or gals form a human pyramid to reach the pot filled with curd and a lot of other goodies including money, which is tied to a rope high up connecting 2 nearby buildings. I realized at that time, India and Indian culture has a good reputation among people living in other countries.
Some Bollywood songs depicting Dahi Handi are:
Govinda aale re aala… Bluff Master (1963)
Shor mach gaya shor dekho aaya makhan chor… Badla (1974)
Teen batti wala Govinda aala… Muqabla (1979)
Mach gaya shor saari nagrire… Khuddar (1982)
Chandi ki daal par sone ka mor… Hello Brother (1999)
Har taraf hai yeh shor… Vaastav (1999)
Go go go Govinda… Oh My God! (2012)