If you're a Holi lover, you're going to think I'm crazy. But the truth of the matter is that I do not really enjoy Holi.
Way back when I was child living in Kolkata I suppose I must have liked it. I remember preparing the night before - filling tubs with water balloons to chuck at hapless strangers from the safety of the terrace-and always missing! I remember trying to pitch a bucket of water at a 'dada' (generic name of any young-older guy) in the colony, him side stepping adroitly and somehow me getting drenched in the process.
Cut to a few years later, Hyderabad - me studying for my 8th std final exams. I had read somewhere that during exams you should do things to make you happy. So I wanted to wear the new cheese cotton (it was a type of fabric) top my mother had bought for me. It was so pretty, all white with colourful polka dots. I was sure my mood would be very good if I wore it. My mother warned me that it is Holi and wearing white clothes, especially new ones, is not advisable. I told her I wouldn't be stepping out of the house since I would be too busy studying. So there was nothing to worry about. I would regret those words.
About an hour later, the doorbell rang. I peered through the peep hole and saw a bunch of multi coloured colony kids standing outside.
"I've seen you! I'm not coming out". I yelled through the door.
"Please come out didi. We only want to rub some gulal (coloured powder)on your face. We promise - nothing more than that"
Naturally, they didn't mean a word of it. But I, poor sucker, believed them and stepped out. Only for a bucket full of black water to be upended over my head. The cheese cotton top never looked the same again.
A few years on, in college, it was even worse. A total free for all. The boys took full advantage of the opportunity, grabbing the girls and even going so far as to throw them into a mud pit that was created specially for Holi. I was horrified when I heard this. So when a guy friend came around to my hostel asking me to come out and play Holi, I told him off roundly.
As time went on, I became more and more convinced that Holi was really not my festival of choice. Quite the opposite actually. I read stories of how young women in Delhi were harassed in the name of festivities. I even saw a news feature where the female presenter covering Holi became the target of some water balloons.
So Happy Holi everyone. Its not such a big festival where I live these days. Even so, I think I'll just stay put at home and be smart about not answering the doorbell this time.
- Welcome!Blogging is a form of self expression for me. I find it a wonderful, democratic space. So often in life, our articulation and expression are controlled by environment-like relationships or work place. Here, it is only about me and what I want to say. I write about anything: books, movies, issues, rants...anything which strikes a chord in me or makes me think. Life's lighter moments, highs and lows, causes, opinions. Anything. I follow no structure. It is all about self expression - a form of empowerment if you like.
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