Wednesday 4 June 2008

It’s Holi-Holi re …

Holi is one festival that can go awry. My initial memories on Holi were not so good.

Rewind to the 1990s. Holi was the only festival celebrated in my college (I think so). North Indian students celebrated it because it is their traditional festival. A few other guys joined them to tease (read touch) girl students. Crackers were burst. And as a rule, every time crackers are burst in the campus, Principal suspends the classes for that day. This part alone is fine. J

On the day of Holi, the first thing I and my friends used to do was to smear some colour on our foreheads ourselves. This was a precaution against anyone else trying to smear colours on us. It worked!

Fast-forward to 2005. When my first Holi in Mumbai approached, I heard about terrifying incidents of people getting injured with water balloons, stones, acid, etc, thrown at them in the guise Holi celebrations, that too much before the actual day. That year, on the eve of Holi, I fled the office before any celebration started. I also reached home without any colours and more importantly, unscathed. But when I entered my housing society, a water balloon whizzed past my nose before hitting the ground. I escaped, though I got a shock. Looking up to the top floors I muttered some choicest expletives and ran home. I didn’t come out until the morning after Holi.

2008. I had a narrow escape again. Another water balloon, another housing society; I was walking along the footpath, a few days before Holi. I crashed right in front, missing me by a few steps. I didn’t walk that way until a week after Holi.

Thus for me, Holi thoughts were nightmarish until I celebrated it with friends this year. We went to Navgaon near Alibag. I was smeared with colours (non-toxic ones) the moment I met my friends at the Gateway of India. And it was fun.



We had more fun at Navgaon beach. I’ve never seen a more muddy beach and sea. Still we were splashing in the water, playing ball games and finally smearing colours on each other.



At the end, one of us was given a mud therapy also.

Photo courtesy: Dnyanesh

A thorough shower, a delicious lunch, a siesta on the hammock at the farmhouse where we stayed, and a walk at twilight at the beach and along the village roads made the day.

Photo courtesy: Dnyanesh

Next day I sang, "It's Holi-Holi re ..." and went home with some really nice memories on Holi.

Still I wonder why do people hurt others even during a festival? Instead of playing with colours, why throw acid, stones, dirt, etc?

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