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As a child I would wait in my balcony for trucks of men to get off on the roads to break the dahi handi. The taller the handi the more the money. I always used to wonder how easily those men made human pyramids and just climbed up in a blink of an eye. And in the next blink they would fall down like a pack of cards. They would just get back up again and relentlessly keep trying until they reach the top and break the dahi matki. That was like achieving the world for them and the trademark dhol beats to go with all the fun is absolutely unforgettable.
Although we see a few of the dahi handis even today around the city, the trademark dhol seems to have been replaced with ear piercing sounds of DJ music and giant sized loudspeakers. The very thrill of standing next to the safety circle of the human pyramid is lot as it has become thoroughly impossible to relate to such deafening music.
Every year at my preschool we tie a 6 feet tall dahi handi and get the toddlers and preschoolers to break it. The best part is the handi is decorated by the entire staff and filled with chocolates. All the girls and boys come dressed as Radha and Krishna and gather around to break the handi. This year too my school is prepping for the same. I have been thinking of getting my kids to have a small dahi handi at home as well.
Try this – Get a small Nylon rope from any local shop. Tie it at a certain suitable height in your balcony. Decorate the rope with the traditional mango leaves. You may add some of your child’s favourite goodies or just some fancy stationery. Get a 6 inch deep water matki (earthern pot) from any potter or nursery. Get your child to paint it with water or poster or acrylic colours. Tie one end of a thin dupatta to the neck of this pot and the other end to the rope you have tied in the balcony. Now fill this pot with a bit of dahi, mithai’s (sweets) and chocolates. Dress up your kid as Radha or Krishna, gather some of his / her friends and get them to sing around the pot and break the matki and enjoy the thrill of real dahihandi at home.
Important – Get your child to break the handi only under your supervision. While breaking the handi please wear closed shoes as the broken handi could hurt your child’s feet.