For a change, I ushered in the Indian summer and a new month with colours this time. It’s the happiest festival, where the colours are everywhere. Or it is supposed to be. This was the first time I celebrated ‘Holi’ like it was meant to be. And dare I say it, it was fun. I couldn’t see the point in Holi a while ago because where I was they took the spirit of Holi to a more ugly place, where there’s no respect for personal space and Holi became an excuse to torment. It’s quite sad that it still happens. But Holi can be fun when played with the right people and with respect for each other.
I am not too much of a fan of Holi either, but it’s good for the soul. At least it was for me because I don’t usually play and secondly, I needed something to lift my spirits. I enjoyed some quality time with the family, which I didn’t expect. An ordinary day soon turned extraordinary. We didn’t really prepare for Holi, we made do with what we had, and had a good old memorable time. That is the fun of it. We had never been as close as we were in those precious minutes putting colour on each other.
I don’t remember laughing like that in a long time. Just abandoning my apprehensions and doing something totally unfamiliar to my personality. Of course, it tired me out, but in a good way. It left me happy and content. I thought playing the colourful game required a crowd and that was the fun of it, which doesn’t sound fun at all. But actually you can have a very few number of people playing and it can be just as fun if not more. Every year the festival comes and I used to be the most unimpressed because it’s essentially a game of unabashedly getting dirty. Sometimes the colours wouldn’t go for days no matter how many baths you took and I was not a fan of getting sprayed with water and water balloons. But where I live you can still step outside and not find people come put colour or any other material on you using the excuse of Holi.
But a year or so ago I was living in another part of the country, where Holi was serious business. It was so serious that stepping out just to go from point A to point B you’d need an umbrella, agility and a great amount of resolve. In fact, they made the festival unbearable, where children would throw water balloons on any laymen who chose to walk their way. There would be strange men throwing balloons filled with all things but water at passing girls from atop motorbikes and would zip away laughing once the job was done. It killed the joy of the festival very fast making it impossible to enjoy even if you wanted to. It would make me extremely angry.
So you can see why I am not that much of a fan of this festival. But it was only because my family showed how Holi can be done right, without involving anybody who doesn’t want to be involved, without being a public nuisance and was genuinely fun to play. Everyone should be free to play Holi, but if you’re going to irritate and hurt people, it’s not fun, it should be illegal. Holi is quite a sentimental festival for many, for some people, it’s their favourite time of the year, and people who ruin it, in fact, ruin it for everyone even those who like Holi.
I remember my mental block against Holi, it made me stringently against playing it. When you’ve been indoors for so long, constantly wallowing in overflowing thoughts and being in a philosophical state of reclusiveness, only Holi acts as a buffer. It came at a time for me when I was losing it, was so concerned about where I was heading and my muscles all tired and exhausted. In a way, the festival revived me. As somebody who was only thinking in black and white, I needed colour to brighten up my day and my soul. I saw the world in a new light, I saw a rainbow in the night.