Gatari: The Mardi Gras of the Marathi Manoos


Gatari: The Mardi Gras of the Marathi Manoos

Illustration: Cleon Dsouza


atari is Maharashtra’s answer to the question, “What if we took Mardi Gras and replaced the alcohol with just beer, took away the hot, nearly topless women, and replaced them with banyan-wearing, gaali-giving kakas dancing to ‘Zingat’?” Gatari Amavasya can be loosely translated to the “Night of the Gutter”. On this night, the aim is to drink all you can, make merry, and pass out in the gutter near your house.

I celebrate this Mardi Gras of the Marathi manoos every year with my friends Umesh and Jai. We grew up together in the multicultural melting pot that is Parel. They’re the kind of friends who’ll occasionally send you a Marathi sex joke on Whatsapp or tag you in a Facebook post about plastic rice. It came as no surprise then that Umesh sent me a badly photoshopped creative of a chaddi-clad child, holding a beer in one hand and a dead chicken in the other, asking, “Gatari Kab Hai, Kab Hai Gatari?” I knew what Umesh was hinting at – a night of pure, booze-fuelled chutiyagiri. Of course, I was up for it. Our nightout would be like the Priyadarshan version of Hangover starring Tiger Shroff, Rajpal Yadav, and Himesh Reshammiya.