Wai ( वाई), District Satara

River Krishna, at Wai, Maharashtra.

A man prepares a bamboo pole to make the Gudi ( Gudi Padwa - Maharashtrian New year) near the Ganapathi temple on the banks of the River Krishna

The main ghat at Wai.

Shiva Shambo! A "Very Happy" New Year this Gudi Padwa.

Happy Gudi Padwa!

But my story is about a group of friends who meet every morning at a Shiva temple a couple of hundred meters downstream on the steps of an other old Shiva Temple.

Ganapati and Shani are the more favoured gods these days and Wai is no exception. There are many new concrete temples with heavy hundis celebrating their prosperity. Good old Shiva is slowly being associated with the warrior king Shivaji in Maharashtra. My prediction is that in 20 years, an average kid in Maharashtra will believe that Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is an incarnation of Lord Shiva, the Destroyer. But that's a different story.

3 friends meet at the Shiva temple, the first thing, every morning. They are Bade, Rajendra and Ghatge. They meet to smoke ganja and the morning on the banks of the River Krishna that gives life to so much of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra is a lively river here. The river is dead where it meets the sea. We have collectively sucked all life from it by then.

Bade is usually the first to arrive. Rajendra then comes with his arsenal. And finally Ghatge arrives with his grandson to complete the trinity.

This is what they do.

Shiva Shambo!


The preparation.

And finally, Ghatge's grandson wondering what's so interesting.


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