Wide angle shot of Versova Beach on the evening of October 24 2012. On "Dussehra" the win of Lord Rama over the demon Ravana is celebrated through large processions from all over Mumbai carrying idols of the godess Durga to Versova Beach, where they are being immersed into the Arabian Sea.
While Pushpendra is explaining the phenomena to us I borrow Sarah's iPhone and start capturing.
Soon boys, referring to me as "uncle", start to dance in front of the camera and gather around me (whereas girls and women seem to display a friendly indifference to my filming). A man calls for my attention by asking me which country I'm coming from. He then wants me to fotograph their respective idol. When I ask him to explain the signification of the godess into the camera, he greets "all german people". Upon request he and bystanders explain that the idol signifies Durga, an "all Indian godess", and asks me to upload the video to facebook. Then I'm left alone with the kids. After a spontaneous group dance show, a dozen of hands drags me by pulling my shirt and sleeves below sight of the frame into the direction of the next big idol being brought onto the beach. But then we stop at a tiny representation being held by the father of one of the boys. I burst out in laughter which the others cheerfully join. Quickly I'm being drawn to the massive figure now unloaded. For a moment I have to guard the camera, as one of my guides wants to capture himself. Then their interest suddenly shifts away from the idols and turns completely to my height and origin. In what I sense to be a fully self-referential indian foreingn-tourist-talk, I start to feel somewhat uncomfortable and try to follow the procession.
But my fellowship sticks with me, as one of the boys teases me, he asks: "Can you take me germany?" I'm shaking my head. "Why? Because you're OK with my country, India?" I laugh and turn the camera to the next Durga going down.