A Martial Artist by profession Sudhir Tulsidas Tuluskar founded Hindu Ekta Dahihandi Pathak out of his passion when he was just 24. For the last 19 years, his group has been participating in various Dahi Handi competitions and has even been covered by the national media multiple times.
It’s the time of the year when it’s Mach gaya shor saari nagri me, and we are super excited for Dahi Handi, which is one the most happening thing about Janmashtami. The celebration occurs with great enthusiasm all across Maharashtra, but the vibe the city of dreams, aka Mumbai, oozes during this time is unmatchable. And since after two long years, we are finally celebrating the Janmashtami like the old times, the fervour can be smelled in the air. The roads will be jampacked, the human pyramids will be seen trying their best to reach the handi and break it to slurp the makkhan and the prize money, of course. Various Pathaks or groups participate and form the human pyramid to finish this ritual, and one such group is Hindu Ekta Dahihandi Pathak, that’s been around for over a decade.
Breaking the Handis for the last 19 years!
His passion for the festival of Janmashtami and his love for the ritual of breaking the Dahi Handi made Sudhir Tulsidas Tuluskar think of starting a small group for the same. It was in 1993 when a chai time Gupshup led to the formation of Hindu Ekta Dahihandi Pathak. The group consisted of 4-5 individuals with zero training and who knew nothing about the human pyramid. “We had no idea on know how to even climb. I still remember we all would fall over and over again in the earlier days. But we didn’t give up, so we kept improving”, told Sudhir Tulsidas Tuluskar to Local Samosa.
In the very first year, this Mandal had around 50 individuals, and they all were able to make a 6-tier human pyramid in the first go. Since then, it has been breaking its own records, and in 2019 the group could go up to 8 tiers. “It’s all about the teamwork. In all these years, we never had to take anybody to the hospital, and for me, their safety is the utmost priority,” he added.
From a handful of people to a community of 2,000 and appearing on the national media
What started as a hobby has now turned into a supportive and equally passionate community about Dahi Handi. Recently over 2,000 people were present at their practice session to cheer them up and help them for the upcoming competition. “In these 19 years, I’ve got a big family, and they mean everything to me. Our Mandal has got recognition and even many TV channels have covered us live. Yesterday, around 2,200 people came to practice with us at the Diana Clock Maidan. It’s also the same place where we’ve been practicing for the last 19 years”, mentioned Sudhir.
Up for a 9-tier human pyramid
Making an 8-tier human pyramid itself is a task. And so when Sudhir Jee said that their goal for this year’s Dahi Handi is to create a 9-tier pyramid, we couldn’t help but ask how they will all do it. “We are around 40 people now, so the risk factor is there. We’ve been practicing for 2 hours every day for the last month. Making a 9-tier pyramid would definitely be very difficult, and so we are going to be extremely careful”, he added.
47-year-old Sudhir Tulsidas has even played Martial Arts on an international level. He was among the winners in the 1997 NEPAL Open International Karate Championship. If you wish to join Hindu Ekta Dahihandi Pathak, feel free to DM them on Instagram.