by Rons Bantwak
Daijiworld Media Network - Mumbai
Mumbai, Sep 3 (PTI): Hundreds of 'Govindas' vied for hefty prizes at various places in the city and adjoining Thane as people celebrated 'dahi handi' with great fanfare amid chants of 'Govinda ala re ala'. Courage, patience, concentration and teamwork of the 'Govindas' was on display as they attempted to break the handis, placed at a height of around 40 feet at some places. An attraction at this year's celebrations was the participation of a 'Govinda' troupe from Spain. They won hearts of onlookers with their agility while attempting a pyramid in Thane.
At Pachpakahdi in Thane, the Jai Jawan mandal broke the handi after forming nine layers, a record set up last time around, and won Rs 15 lakh prize. At the Sanskruti mandal, also in Thane, an all-women troupe set up a six-layer pyramid to break the handi.
Several Bollywood stars attended the 'Sankalp' dahi handi in Worli. With prizes as high as Rs 75 lakh at one place, the youngsters, including some all-women troupes, wounded their way to the 'handis' in Mumbai and Thane. Last year, the swine flu scare subdued 'dahi handi' celebrations in Mumbai. This year, the festival comes in the backdrop of rising malaria cases in the city. Of the over 700 'Govinda mandals' across the city, the most popular ones were at Dadar and Worli, in central Mumbai