The big day has arrived for dahi handi organisers to show off their extravagant arrangements, and this year they are using the best of technology to trump each other.
In the lead is the Shiv Sena, whose student’s wing, Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena (BVS), will stream its entire Shivaji Park programme live on their website. “We have tied up with Microsoft for this,” said BVS secretary Suraj Chavan.
In Thane, Shiv Sena legislator Pratap Sarnaik has tied up with digital technology company UFO to capture their entire 12-hour programme on 3-D cameras.
“We plan to make a two-hour film out of that which can be screened in theatres for the public,” said Sarnaik, organiser of the Sanskruti Yuva Pratishthan Vihang Dahikala Utsav at Vartak Nagar.
The mandal is offering Rs 25 lakh for those who manage to make a 10-tier tower, and Rs 11 lakh for nine-tiers.
Also on the mandal’s agenda is a Laser Angel show by two Russian artistes — a laser show that is projected creatively on the human body instead of a screen. “We discovered their talent online and invited them for our celebrations,” said Sarnaik. The 20-minute show will start at 7 pm.
Organiser Sachin Ahir of the Sankalp Pratishthan mandal at Worli will give Sarnaik direct competition, with his own laser show and film.
“Film director Saurabh Kadra and cinematographer Vijay Arora are going to make a documentary film about us, which will be sent to Cannes,” said Ahir, an NCP legislator. While his laser show will begin at 8 pm, he has a list of celebrities from actors Salman Khan to Karishma Kapoor who are expected to show up in the day.
The mandal also plans to give international tourists VIP treatment on the stage. “The festival is taking on a corporate look over the years, but at least that has brought us national and international recognition,” said Ahir.
The international flavour will be the strongest at Thane’s Sangharsh Mandal, where organiser Jitendra Ahwad has invited Spanish castellers (Spanish counterparts of govindas) to display their pyramid skills for the second-year in a row.
Almost all mandals in the city have booked DJs to play thumping English music all through the day. “Today’s youth believe in rituals and traditions, but for dahi handi they need something to energise them,” said Ahwad, an NCP legislator.