Nikhil Rajwade scratched his head after his colleague fell on him. Moments later, he smiled and said that it keeps happening. "With practice, we have learnt how to deal with it," said Nikhil as he jerked off the pain. Though no record was broken this time, for Govindas, whether it was a five-tier pyramid or higher one, it was all about the high of breaking a record or just enjoying and being part of the thrill that drove them to Dahi Handi.
The two-year break had led to many people moving out or becoming overweight. But many others made sure that they were back in shape. "The moment the government announced that the festival is back with no restrictions, the first thing I asked my team to do was to rush to the gym," said Navnath Patil, coach of New Parshuram Govinda Pathak that made eight tier pyramid.
The two-year gap also led to many people moving out of the festival. This led to some newer ones coming in. "It is my first year and I was very excited. Last night itself we broke a Handi by making six tiers," said Aryan Nakur, 17-year-old who participated for the first time in Dahi Handi. Nakur's family encouraged him as they have been part of this too.
"Since our childhood we see people make Dahi Handi. So we also feel like doing it some time or the other," said Nakur who is part of the second or third layer depending on where they are making the Dahi Handi. In case it is being made on the tar road, he is lower in the pyramid. In case it is in the ground, he is one the higher one.
"Only those with light weight can go up and those who can bear more weight stand down. I am somewhere in the middle," he said laughing at his lean figure. Some who wish to make more tiers are also held up because of a lack of participation and aversion from family members.
"In our case, we have stuck to give tiers because families do not allow girls to participate. Hence we have stuck to five tiers," said Hemangi Dharwadkar of Rashtra Chetana Mahila Pathak which has been making five tiers for the last nine years.
"The problem is that people of this generation are not as much into sports as people of our generation," said Mangesh Mayekar, a parent.