Of all the Indian Festivals that we celebrate, Holi has always been my favorite. For one, you don’t dress up. You dress down. I mean, which festival allows you to be dressed in your oldest clothes and still have the best time ever? You don’t wear make-up, but drench yourself in colors to be one with nature. You don’t go on a diet to look perfect for this occasion and you definitely don’t spend loads of money to enjoy a truly beautiful festival such as Holi.
I have the fondest childhood memories of growing up in a colony full of kids and Holi was one festival we all eagerly looked forward for irrespective of our religions. I remember my Dad wrapping a coconut in a red cloth and placing it in the Holika wishing all the evil to be burnt in that auspicious fire. The sight of those soaring flames dancing in harmony and specks of golden ashes flowing in the air always held me mesmerized. Coming from a South Indian family, we never made any Holi delicacies, but luckily our Maharashtrian neighbors and friends would bring us plate full of warm, Ghee laden Pooran Poli’s which would make my day so much happier.
As kids, I remember how we used to avoid walking past any buildings fearing that a water balloon would find its home on our heads or backs. Generally, Holi for us would begin a good 3-4 days in advance and invariably one of the days we would return from school with splashes of blue ink strewn across our snowy white shirt-uniform. That we had to later bear the brunt of our mischief from folks at home is another story altogether 😉 On the Rang Panchami day, I would prep myself up by selecting the darkest shade of clothes, oil my hair with Parachute coconut oil (I challenge anyone who didn’t use one) and even apply a little oil on my hands and face too. Once ready, armed with Pichkari and packets of colors, I would gear up to face a battle of The Quickest. In our colony, not only kids but adults too reveled in this festival of colors. It was most fun to be the first to pour water and colors on someone who has just walked out of their homes all clean and dry and then cheekily say, “Bura na maano, Holi Hai!”. The stunned faces were always delight. By noon, when it would be wrap up time, I would return home content, bearing the biggest smile for I have spent a day with friends creating memories which we will laugh at, for years to come.
I played Holi as a kid and then as a youngster too, but when I got married and moved to a new place it was a different scenario. People in our building were new to us and most preferred keeping to themselves. Holi wasn’t the same without our friends, Work kept us busy and so for a couple of years I did not play Holi at all. And then Miracle happened. Baby E came into our lives. On turning 3, he geared up to play Holi and we were equally excited too. That year we ventured out in our society, hoping E’s first Holi would be memorable and what a lovely experience it was helping us make new friends. Now, for the last 3 years I have been enjoying Holi just like I used to when I was a little girl, all Thanks to our son who has bought childhood back into our lives.
Watch this beautiful video. Let this Holi evoke a sense of Joy and a yearning to be young forever in our hearts.
x Happy Holi x