Good Old Holi

Holi has always been my favourite festival. Some people fail to understand why (other) people love colours and getting drenched and hanging around looking like a make-up artist's worst nightmare. But seriously, what can be more fun than throwing colourful gulal in the air or caking each other's faces with it shrieking 'Happy Holi!' ?

I've lived in an appartment complex for a major part of my life where, I am pleased to say, Holi is celebrated with full vigour and enthusiasm. Holi celebration always began days before the actual Holi. As soon as our exams got over, we'd go over to the market to buy water balloons. ("No, buy the one with the less pinks. Pinks never work").

And then of course, would commence the inevitable battle between girls and boys. It used to be so exciting, throwing water balloons at the boys, in retalitation to their unprovoked attack the previous day. Then fleeing the spot, as they would chase us the entire evening. After finally getting drenched from head to toe, we'd go home and get scolded yet again ("What if you catch Pneumonia? Huh? Then how will you play Holi?").

But it was so thrilling, hiding behind the solitary pillar, knowing they'd pelt you with water bombs if you made a sound. And then there was the real Holi itself, more fun than anything that happened in the past week. Waking up early to fill the buckets with water balloons and getting our pichkaaris ready ("I got the Dragon pichkaari! Ha! Beat that!"). We'd go down at around nine, and forget everything else till the afternoon. There are parts which are very vivid in my mind.

Stuffing hot pakoras in our mouths.Gazing admiringly at 'bade bhaiyas and didis' who had black 'grease' on their hands ("Look, so-and-so bhaiya has silver grease! And golden!") Debating whether we ought to try some bhaang or not. Filling the emptied water tanks of the pichkaari from the hand pump.

And then we went back home and cleaned up,. All scrubbed and shining, we'd go down looking new, for everyone had lunch together on Holi. We'd all sit together, showing each other the colours which had still not faded completely, because it had been particularly 'strong' (" That idiot _____ put pakka rang on me").

And then after everyone went home, we'd all sit together and pour the delicious raita in little cups, and sip it elegantly, while playing that game, Queen Queen Good Morning, in which one person gave the 'den' and the rest mimed a play and the dener guessed which play it was.
And that concluded my Holi. Although I like Holi as much as ever, its not celebrated as well as we did earlier. But I'm determined. Although fifteen, I'm still not ready to give up on water balloons. I dont care how many disapproving looks I get from Aunties, I'll pelt people with balloons. And yes, even the nine-year-olds.

And although we may skip the raita part this year, Holi still will be fun. At least for me :)
Happy Holi everyone!

Update on 16/03/09 : I was wrong. Holi this year was as good as ever. Even with different people :)

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