Happy Holi(day)

It’s Holi and I  thought of taking this opportunity to share about the couple of occasions  that I have enjoyed this festival when I was small.

I must have been about seven or eight years old. I had no idea about the significance of this festival. On the day of Holi, I  recall waking up to loud shrieks, chatter and laughter of kids throwing colored water balloons from their balconies at family, friends and strangers alike. With such an animated and upbeat atmosphere, how could anyone be left behind? Me and my sister quickly got ready( old clothes) and  with our gear-water balloons, pichkari(a long syringe like sprayer used to spray color), we stepped out.

There was fun and excitement all over. Everyone(including adults) was at their mischievous best.  There were clouds of the most vibrant colors everywhere. Kids were chasing each other with color-round and round the playground, up and down the staircase and even the elevator! Black somehow was the most unfavorable color.

People were squirting colored water on each other . There was yelling and screaming as people soaked each other with color .No one was spared,not even me. A  girl kept chasing me with a bucket full of purple water. I hid and I ran away from her, and she kept following me with her bucket. As I was running barefoot, I  stepped on something that pierced and hurt my feet; they were pieces of glass( must have been a broken bottle).

While I was trying to remove those glass pieces, ‘the girl ’flung the purple water all over me. Here I was injured and now soaked with purple water! I continued  playing until it was time to go home and have some festive food.

On the other occasion, we were at our grandparents house. We saw our neighboring friends having fun with color ( in pajamas). We watched them play and seeing their enthusiasm, we could not resist.

We ran and joined them- at their place first and then they came over.While at our place, I saw our maids daughter came out of her house after a bath, looking neat and clean. As soon as the others saw her, they  pounced on her and splattered her with gulal( colored powder).

An earthen pot( with water) nearby was her savior. She giggled and she splashed water on herself .In a instant more color was applied and she  washed it off again. The next thing? Colored water was poured on her head! The coloring, giggling and color washing went on for a long time.  All this was so hilarious to watch.

I am also tempted to add about the great time  we had with plain water outdoors.My cousins from America were visiting our grandparents ( while we were there too). It wasn’t a festival day like Holi. There was an outdoor wash area next-door and we decided to have some fun by sprinkling and splashing  water on one another. Very soon a garden hosepipe came out and everyone went wild with the water.

My cousin sister went back home to get her camera. We took some ‘grand’ poses for pictures. Everybody got splashed but it was my cousin brother whose clothes got drenched and none of us realized that . At the end of all the fun and frolic, he began to cry. All of us were afraid. Someone quickly got him changed and  one of us began ironing his clothes, but they would not dry. Wearing those half drenched clothes, he went back home howling. While we escaped,my poor cousin sister got a big scolding .

All this writing ( was also listening to some famous  Hindi movies Holi songs on the radio) has made me hungry! I could do with some warm puranpolis (A Maharashtrain sweet delicacy )with a generous drizzle of melted ghee and cold milk. Along with it, some piping hot rice with Katachi Aamti ( which is a type of seasoned dal made by using leftover water from boiled Chana Dal) would make a great accompaniment . To everyone who celebrates Holi wish you a very Happy Holi. Enjoy!

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