Holi is like Love. Either you believe in the whole concept of getting down on your knees, douse yourself and others in its’ different hues, shades and colors, the good and the bad, the chase and the foreplay and the whole act of enjoying the passion it involves. Or you (like the Love cynical people) can just hate it and call it a huge wastage of time, energy and water 😛 You just can’t have a middle standing in the matters of Love and Holi. And if you do, you should know that you are getting screwed and you are not even enjoying it! :-p 😉 Such a pity, no?
Anyway, I have no middle standing on the matter. Howsoever strongly I believe in the concept of Love and all the jazz, I don’t like Holi. I mean, I like the spirit of the festival where everything should be colorful, and you meet your next door neighbors for the first time in the year (the second time being Diwali ;-)) and have sweets and thandai and a general bonhomie pervades. But. Only if Life were that simple. Over the years, it has turned into this unrequited kind of love. You know the kinds where you tell people that you are not interested in playing along. But they just talk, tag and stalk and bully you into playing along.
I might be wrong when I say this, but I feel that the spirit of the festival has been lost somewhere over the years. The idea of the whole festival is to have a good time with all and sundry, while in actuality, people have just taken it up as an excuse to inconvenience other people by flinging water balloons on unsuspecting people/cars/bikes on the roads. Plus they do this week long and not only on the festival day. And to round off the brutality of the festival, everyone must get pakka colors so that the others have a hard time getting it off. I mean, people, when did the entire agenda of the festival shift from masti and pleasure to hurt others. Yes, I just said Hurt. Because of all these artificial color sprays and pakka colors contain harmful chemicals that harm our skin and hair. Call me cynical or paranoid but that’s true.
I mean, isn’t the polluted air and water bad enough for you that you want to rub in these chemicals on to your friends? And I am not even talking about the kind of water wastage that happens during Holi and even after when scores of people all over the country try and remove these pakka colors from their skin. And then, if this was not enough, should you really be harassing people to join you in this mayhem?
I can understand if some of us like the festival in all it’s fervor. But guys. Seriously, one request. If somebody doesn’t want to play, just let them be. For all you know, they may be allergic or have some medical condition that could worsen. Just respect a person’s decision to disassociate. I know the tagline says, “Bura na mano, Holi hai” (roughly translates to Don’t mind, It’s Holi!!). But I guess with the changing times, or let me put it more appropriately, in the times of declining morality, where our women don’t feel safe anywhere, we certainly don’t want strange men smearing us with chemicals and getting fun out of it. We’d rather not play.
If this post sounds depressing, that wasn’t my intention at all. All I wanted was to wish you all a very Happy Holi. May you be doused in all the colors of Holi (and Love too) and be surrounded with a lot of friends and family and sweets. Thank your stars that you have enough safe water to drink and a little extra to throw around. Count your blessings and spare a thought for somebody who probably isn’t as lucky as you.
PS: Wouldn’t it be great if we could celebrate a Holi with ubtan, curd, honey, olive oil, rose water, lemon and other such things that are good or the skin and hair. I can’t imagine how cool that would be! Isn’t it?
*Images courtesy Google