Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Jatra 2006 - the Marathi Festival held in Indore (MP); India

Jatra is an annual feature in the cultural calendar of Indore - the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh and the erstwhile capital of the Holkar Kingdom. A Marathi festival conducted by the Marathi Social Group Indoor (as Indore is traditionally known among the Maharashtrian community) it is usually held just after Dassera. I had attended it last year and savoured the ambience, the dances, the music, the snacks and also a traditional Marathi meal. But I had forgotten to take my camera. Something I regretted. This year Jatra 2006 was held at the Poddar Plaza, near Gandhi Hall from the 6th to the 8th of October. I visited it on the 8th. Driving down from Mhow, where I live took me about an hour. Iqbal, who happens to be one of the regulars cab drivers I hire, told me that he would be breaking his Ramzan fast at 6:15 pm or so and that he would definitely pick me up by 7 pm. He was true to his word and we were out of Mhow by 7 pm. I took my camera, a simple Yashica MF2, along and captured some images from the last day. Here they are. A beautiful evening. Something I have begun to look forward to every year.

The Lavani dances. These performances were watched by a packed audience:

Two of the many stalls in the food zone

The traditional Marathi meal. You can see the menu on the blackboard. A sitting in a traditional Marathi meal is known as a pangat. I had read this word in the program schedule but it wasn't till I received an email from my friend Mohan that I came to know of its meaning. Mohan has a strong Indore connection but thanks to his Army job is rarely able to visit Mhow and Indore. I look forward to attending a Jatra in his company if he can make it at the right time. It will be fascinating going around with him.

Time to say goodbye. People walking in as I make my way towards the parking lot. I would love to stay longer but I am 25 kms from my house and would like to reach home before it is too late. Till the next year and the next Jatra


Post a Comment

<< Home