You utter Navaratri in Vadodara …and the first venue that comes in your mind is United Way and Shree Atul Purohit.. but Vadodara has much more to offer during Navaratri. Yes some very unusual formats of celebrations and worship occur in Vadodara during the time of Navaratri. Out of that The Barodian is going to narrate you the Galo ni Bhavai ( the abusive bhavai) that is performed on the third day of Navaratri at the Verai mata temple , near Khanderao Market.
The word Abusive surely alerts you , with lots of abuses you might have heard or spoken in your life.. Using abusive language is even crime in the eyes of law. In this case can you think of a crowd hearing abusive dialogs in front of the goddess and that too during Navaratri, Strange! But this is the age old tradition, which is still in practice to get the blessings of the goddess .
The medium to get the blessings is Bhavai, a Gujarati format of oral story telling , which is generally performed in the name of vesh, by the artists. The bhavai starts with worshipping Goddess and Lord Ganesha and soon transforms itself to abusive dialogs, which are spoken between the artist. The level of abusiveness is on its peak , as the Bhavai performance reaches its peak. And sometimes the artists also uses abusive words for someone in the audience watching Bhavai. But rather than getting angry, he is happy to be blessed , as these abusive words are taken as blessings by the people.
The properties , used in the Bhavai are also age old, which signifies that, the tradition is more than 100 years old. While this Bhavai is performed by a particular group of artist from generation to generation. The Barodian tried to approach them, but they requested anonymity as they believed this act to be very sacred one , so they never wanted to revealed their identity.
It is believed that, the abusive words used in bhavai dialogs drains out the negativity and so if some one is blessed with an abusive address amongst the audience, he feels to be blessed.
A question that arised in the minds of readers and the writer is Why this bhavai is performed at Verai Mata Temple only? To this The Barodian approached some pundits, who claimed that Verai mata is the goddess of boundaries. In Gujarat you will find the temple of Verai Mata in each and every town of the city. In olden times, the temple of Verai mata were made on the boundary of that particular city, as it is believed that the goddess will protect the city. With the increasing limits of city now most of the Verai Mata temples are found in the mid of city.