By Meghna Yelluru
Chaitali Mali from Khar has been taking part in human pyramids during the Dahi Handi celebrations for the last five years. This year, however, the Supreme Court order almost denied her the opportunity. Almost, because she turned 12 Monday morning.
The girl, who shared her 12th birthday with Lord Krishna herself, was atop the human pyramid on Monday at the Khar-based Om Kacharnath Mandal, of which she is the lone female member.
Mali cut her “handi-shaped” birthday cake at 1 am Monday, as the deity was, according to myth, born at 12:40 am.
“She has been participating in Dahi Handis for the last five years and practising for the last one month. I also have a younger daughter who is 10 years old. But she is not allowed to participate,” said Sunil Mali, Chaitali’s father.
Sunil was quick to produce Chaitali’s birth certificate when the authorities came asking for her age proof.
Chaitali’s 200-member on Monday mandal participated in seven events across the city, including at Bandra, Dadar, Worli and Mahim, with Chaitali accepting prize money and trophies for being part of the human pyramid.
“I enjoy climbing the human pyramid and my group saves me every time I fall,” says Chaitali, a class six student of a Khar municipal school.
Enthusiastically describing her birthday, she says she was gifted money and clothes for her birthday, which she was yet to use as she was made to wear the team’s bright yellow T-shirt.