The Mazgaon Tadwadi Govinda Pathak attempted to go a step higher than their previous record of a nine-tier human pyramid on Monday, but failed to make the elusive tenth tier despite several attempts.
For most members of the team who were present at the Gokulashtami celebration in Thane, the drive to participate stems not from the will to break records, but to uphold tradition. “I work in the police force and used to come back home to practise for the pyramid for three hours every night. I like to participate because we get to celebrate our culture together.”
The group’s youngest member, Sanika Gaikwad, 4, has scaled more heights than most children her age. Gaikwad climbed to the top of one of the city’s best known human pyramids to break a ‘handi’ during the Gokulashtami celebrations in Mazgaon. “The smallest children are not scared to climb to the top, in fact, they are quite excited to do it,” said Arun Patil, who coaches the group.
Gokulashtami is a special day for residents of Mazgaon Tadwadi as they participate in the festival by forming the human pyramid, helping with the organisation or simply by showering the practising team with buckets of water.
On Sunday, more than 2,000 T-shirts were distributed to Govindas, their families and volunteers, along with breakfast and lunch. “Organising our whole day with transport, uniforms and food cost us more than Rs 3 lakh,” Patil said.
The day began with of prayers in each of the six temples in Mazgaon, accompanied by a boisterous group of musicians beating drums and playing the shehnai. “We do not get the time to practise, but as soon as Gokulashtami is here, we know just what to play to please the crowd,” said Vasant Kambli, who works in a government office.
The team began its journey through the city setting records wherever it went. In both Kala Chowki and Dadar, the eight-tier pyramid that the Tadwadi team formed was unbeaten in both height and execution. Vilas Janwalikar, who spent the whole day travelling with the team, is still amazed by the ease with which they managed to complete their formations.