- By Ashee Sharma
Stripping off the huriyaras of their upper garment, the huriyarins make a whip out of it and lash them, singing songs and slangs all along.
2022-03-17 (Vrindavan Today News): Baldeo, the home of Krishna’s elder brother whom Barjwasis lovingly call Dauji, is abuzz with preparations for the year’s biggest event ‘Dauji ka Huranga’ on 19 March. Like Dauji, Huranga too is the ‘elder’ or simply, the grander version of the festival. Arriving in Baldeo, Holi becomes ‘Huranga’. People come in large numbers from all across the country and foreign lands to take part in this colourful pandemonium.
Rasiya or Holi songs and samaj gayan begin in the temple on the previous day. Men and women enacting the two camps of Krishna and Radha’s cowherd friends – the gopas and gopis – play traditional musical instruments like mridang, jhaanjh, manjeeras and dance to the tunes of these light-hearted songs and verses all day long.
On the appointed day of the Huranga, the gopas or huriyaras as they are called in the context of the festival invite Dauji to join them in the Holi mischief against the huriyarins or gopis.
बलराम कुमार होली खेले कूं, भैया खेले होली फ़ाग …
The play begins at the temple’s Tulasi Chabootra soon after Dauji accepts their invitation. Men rush to grab the buckets of coloured water and splash them on the women who try to stave off their advances in a somewhat bizarre manner. Stripping off the huriyaras of their upper garments, the huriyarins make a whip out of it and lash them, singing songs and slangs all along.
All decorum is forgotten in the frenzy. The spirit of competition takes over as the gopis try to snatch Revati maiyya and Dauji’ staff from the gopas. Their failed attempts are mocked with rasiyas like The musical affronts further provoke the हारी रे गोरी घर चली जीत चले ब्रजबाल to level up their game and eventually trounce the other side. The win is celebrated with another victory song that goes ‘हारे रे रसिया घर चले, जीत चली ब्रज नारि’ I
Every year colours made of saffron and tesu and heaps of flowers are stacked in large quantities in preparation for the festival. This time around 11 quintals of rose and marigold and 21 quintals of abeer-gulaal have been stocked. When machines installed on the rooftop are used to sprinkle these bright scented colours on the revelling crowd below, the azure blue sky turns saffron. Such is the magnificence of Dauji’s Huranga!
Administration Gears Up
The administration is taking all necessary steps to ensure a peaceful and safe festival for residents as well as visitors coming to Baldeo. A meeting chaired by deputy district officer (Mahavan) Devendra Singh was organised recently to discuss crowd and traffic management as the top priority. The discussion was attended by temple receiver RK Pandey, chairman Kamal Kumar Pandey, and members of the nagar panchayat among others.
It was decided that special and free parking facility will be provided for visitors. All four wheelers will be restricted outside the town. Important junctions like Hanuman Tiraha, old bus stand, and water tank will be barricaded. Divers will be stationed at Kshirsagar to avoid any mishap. Measures to curb anti-social elements were also discussed.