Like the zillion Indian Facebook users across the world, I too posted my pictures of playing Holi with friends and family. Hardly recognizable with the color all over our faces in a tub that was too small to fit 6 adults and 5 kids, we all managed nevertheless.
I did manage to get some sizeable likes and counting on the post which made me glad, after all what use is a post not liked by your FB friends!! I was happy till a dear friend reprimanded me of the futility of putting ones pictures that aren’t graceful and complained about his timeline being filled with such pictures and how he despised posting these horrendous pictures.
Holi is the only Hindu Festival when one is not supposed to dress up to be in a festive mood, old faded clothes add much more happiness and fun at least for me and I love celebrating this festival. We have always been a family that loved celebrating Holi, with friends and family visiting each other to celebrate and one acquaintance always ensured a steady supply of Bhang ki Mithai and Pakodi for years together. Those were the days when the young ones would hop on to our open Willis Jeep and go on singing Hindi songs and visiting relatives and friends. The color refused to go for a week and body itched with the incessant and failed attempt to remove colors.
The way this festival has been now projected I wouldn’t be surprised that the future generations stop celebrating it all together. People stay in and refuse to get out or they leave town, going to any extent to avoid playing with colors. I sometimes wonder whether they are truly allergic to the colors or this is just plain disdain for Holi.
An incident that is part of our family lore is about that one year my Grandfather who was then the Governor of Tamil Nadu had celebrated Holi in the Raj Bhawan there with the Rajasthani’s settled in Chennai. The entire staff was flabbergasted to see the Governor applying colors and enjoying the festival with one and sundry. For most of the local Tamil population this was something they had never seen or experienced.
Having lived in hostels for more than decade, I have played Holi with eggs, color, shoe polish !! Its only now I have been trying to convince my friends to shift to Gulal from Pucca Colors and have mostly failed at this endeavor except this year. And no Holi is ever complete without the mandatory dipping in a pool or tub to bring an end to the festivities.
Sorry but No Tilak Holi for me at least for the time being, like a recent line from a commercial says :“होली है भाई, चुटकी भर से क्या होगा ??”
I know it is not environmentally friendly and we end up wasting a precious resource i.e. water but again in our everyday life how conscious are we that all the activism and awareness get fixed onto the celebration of Holi. I know i am wrong and there are millions thirsty souls across the globe but ……..
Go out and get urself dirty and make our children enjoy this festival, because it gives an opportunity to add color to our otherwise mundane lives, like a beautiful sms doing the rounds says about the Holi :
लो ख़तम हुई रंग ऐ गुलाल की शोखियाँ
चलो यारों फिर बेरंग दुनिया में लौट चलें …