Time for a holy Holi !

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

Life – V2.1

Life ka version 2.1 is because I recently had a near death experience.
Went rafting with my sisters and jiju and hubby, over the weekend. And we were all first timers.
Let me describe the process for the benefit of the unadventurous lot like me who have never-been-there-and-done-it. 8 people go on an air filled raft, peddle the raft in calm waters and brave the monstrous waves that are encountered in the river on the way to destination. People supposedly get a high and feel adventurous when the waves rock your boat, and try to throw you into the icy cold waters but somwhow you ride the waves and survive it. Some people are pushed into water by the huge waves and enjoy it, others deliberately get down and have fun.
And there I am…. afraid of water, to the extent of being paranoid. And here again, I was (no prizes for guessing this) coaxed into doing this stupid activity by the ‘adventurous’ people around me.  Our adventure started when our raft-wallah decided to take only the four of us (me , my 2 sisters  n hubby..lets call them S1, S2 and H). The paddling was sad. We four were trying to do what ideally 8 people do. And when the rapids arrived, our boat rocked like a paper boat and warned of toppling over every now and then. We were thrown into our raft may a times but we somehow got through 3 major rapids. The fourth one was a monster though. In the middle of the rapid, a huge wave crashed into our raft from the right and the 2 people sitting on the right side were thrown on the opposite side. Before we had a chance to react, came another wave from the right, and all of us were thrown into the bottomless river. And what happened after this was nothing short of my nightmare come true.
We all fell down in the center of the rapid, unknown of the others. Later I came to know that S2 and H had fallen down together and had caught hold of the raft’s lifeline and moved out of the rapid together. S1 and I fell alone, holding hands of….hope. As soon as I tried to come up, our raft overturned by another wave hit me on the head and pushed me down furthur. Another wave swept me away in an unknown direction and other waves kept crashing and made sure I was under water. This continued for a good 20seconds before I began to reliase that I might never make it. The last time that i tried to come up….another huge wave crashed on me and water entered my mouth and I began to choke. After the last desperate and unsuccessful attempt, I had lost hope. All I had in my mind then was, “This is it. I guess this is how it ends. And this surely is my worst nightmare come true. All that ever happened ends right here. Why was I stupid enough to ever come here….” and darknes followed…..The next moment S1 pulled me out of water and I couldn’t believe my luck. I had been saved. We asked for help from passing by rafts. From there we saw S2 and H being pulled on to another raft. I heaved a sigh of relief. I was expecting a disaster. Fortunately my hopes were crashed.
Somehow finished the rest of our journey. Had drowning dreams for 2 days after that. Have resloved to learn swimming.
Before i sign off, 3 cheers for version 2.1. Hip hip hurray. Hip hip hurray. Hip hip hurray.