With Janmashtami day's lively daze, aamchi Mumbai tuned into festival mode with head-banging music. I wondered Lord Krishna preferred which of the two songs more? A remix from Aashiqui 2 or Lungi Dance from Chennai Express. There was flash– a van decorated in silver foil. There was excitement– a man tore his T-shirt when a particular mandal broke a matki. There was inquisitiveness– a lady, while having her mouth open, saw if the little guy on the pyramid would make a hit... a mosquito conveniently made a hit into her mouth.
The scene after crossing the only time-saving bridge in the city got even more flashier. The crowd at Worli was a replica of the one we witnessed when we earned the 2011 World Cup. What was happening? It seemed that Lord Krishna was supposed to visit Worli for his birthday. Maybe He posted it on Twitter. But there really wasn’t any Twitter update from Him. After all, He must have decided to spend time with his childhood friends as He keeps so busy with us on the rest of the days. He can’t bear to listen to us even on his birthday! So what were lakhs of people doing in Worli?
One dear MLA had organised a Dahi Handi... (I really don't know whose money was put into it). Okay and...? And SRK was scheduled to come after a line up of several other celebrities. Now there had to be a wait, an anticipation, an anxiety, some goosebumps until the gem arrived. It was fascinating to see the love of humans for another human (who is charming and enterprising). It is also fascinating to see the 'SRK jealous-mongers’ criticise! Please do, scream out your lungs, exhaust the oxygen within you because it will just add to his fan followers' base. One can’t have lovers until they have haters.
So coming back to the love of humans for another charming and enterprising human.
After learning that SRK was coming for the Dahi Handi, Madhuben had travelled from Gujarat. Her supportive husband immediately arranged for Madhuben’s travel and here she was in Mumbai, decked up with new glazed bangles. Rizwan, Asif, Farzan and Shoaib Aziz, the four siblings wore coloured lungis while Saurabh gleamed amidst the lakhs of people. Saurabh, an aspiring filmmaker was pushed by the crowd with varying intensities at varying points of time while he waited only ‘to see’ SRK. Kakaji had carried his medicine, and popped it in while slyly giving one of his calm smiles to Kakiji. Kakiji scored high on shyness. Both had lost a few of their teeth capable of breaking African walnuts. But Kakiji had bought dentures. She couldn’t let SRK see her teehtless. Stock broker Mukundbhai blurted on his phone ‘Kal phone karna. Abhi mujhe Shahrukh ko dekhne do.’ Did I really hear a stockbroker delaying his phone conversation? He really didn’t care about the delicate points on the Sensex or the Nifty for those few 'SRK-glancing' moments!
I witnessed India in Worli; different castes, creeds, religions and languages wove into one location for one purpose. All had a common place to visit that Thursday evening. A common desire ran through every blood – to see SRK. A common wait pumped in every heart.
Ruhi Kaur and Inderjeet Kaur were heard telling their putar Junior Inder (as they usually address him) that if he works hard and honestly, someday all these people will await to see Junior Inder. Junior Inder, seated on Senior Inder’s shoulders, screamed with joy.
The cameras went over heads.
The flashes triggered.
A common joyful uproar was launched.
The common tears of joy were left to unveil.
The day had begun.
He had arrived.