The entire country is celebrating Janmashtami, the birth ceremony of Lord Krishna, today. As part of the festivities, dahi handi is celebrated, especially across Maharashtra. Clay pots with curd, butter, and money are hung high up on the top and local residents make human pyramids and compete to break the pot. It is said that Lord Krishna as a child would form human pyramids along with his friends to steal butter from neighbourhood homes. Thus dahi handi is celebrated to mark Lord Krishna’s childhood notoriety.
Formation of the pyramid by ‘govindas’ has become an integral part of the Bollywood culture. Here, we track ten songs that show us how dahi handi has been captured over the years in films:
Govinda Aala Re (Bluffmaster, 1963): The song is featured in the yesteryear film bluffmaster and shows Shammi Kapoor breaking the pot. Shammi Kapoor can be seen belting out some of his signature moves in the song’s video. It is one of those rare black and white films to capture the dahi handi celebrations.
Teen Batti Wala Govinda Aala (Muqabla, 1979): Sung by the legendary musical duo Mohd Rafi and Kishore Kumar, the song is picturised on veteran Bollywood actors Shatrughan Sinha and Sunil Dutt. While it celebrates the festival, there is no pot breaking sequence in the song itself.
Har Taraf Hai Yeh Shor (Vaastav, 1999): This is a quintessential song that shows the dahi handi tradition being celebrated in Mumbai. Following his father’s footsteps Sanjay Dutt can be seen dancing and partaking in the festivity.
Chandi Ki Daal Par (Hello Brother ,1999): Picturised on Rani Mukerji and Salman Khan, the song shows ‘Bhai’ taking off his shirt to climb the human pyramid and break the pot.
Govinda (Shaitaan, 2011): Kalki Koechlin, Kirti Kulhari and Gulshan Devaiya can be seen dancing on this foot-tapping number. The actors are not seen climbing a human pyramid unlike others, but the song is interspersed with dahi handi sequences.
Go Go Govinda (Oh My God, 2012): Sonakashi Sinha became the first female actor onscreen to break the dahi handi. She made a guest appearance in the Akshay Kumar-starrer Oh My God (2012), for the special Dahi Handi song, Go Go Govinda, also featuring Prabhu Deva.