Meghnath Mela, up there where we revolve
His body took on the color of blood. A mixture of turmeric and gulal has been pasted all over his chest, legs, arms and neck. Not a square inch of his skin that hasn't been covered by that mixture. The young man is getting ready for the Meghnath Mela festival in this village of Madhyah Pradesh, central India.
It has happened every month of March for so long that no one does really know the reason behind this holiday. Some say, quite definitively, that it is to thank the gods, while some others assert that those offerings and the hazardous climb up the wooden structure that stands high in the middle of the village allow, on the opposite, to solicit gods' graces. Hard to know. What is certain, on the other hand, is that this feast, that spread, from village to village, brings the crowds together, driven in a collective fervor that takes hold of all. A perfectly regulated ballet where sacred and profane intertwine.