Tuesday, March 10

HOLI- DAY !!!!

Do you play holi??
I don't remember,ever being asked this question,all these years.Except,in the past two years that I have been in Bangalore(no…I am not being judgemental about the city) .

As far as my weak memory can recollect.You didn’t have to ask anyone to play Holi.You just had to.It was an unwritten,universal rule,that no one dared to break.If you happened to be one of those,who were(mentally) allergic to colours, wet clothes ,violence and detested spending the day painted in the weirdest possible combination of colours…well…you just had to keep mum,grin and bear it,because that would incur the wrath of the rest and you would be the ‘ holi-da-bakra ‘,that everybody loved to get their hands dirty with.

It would be ridiculous to ask anyone such a question.It would be even more absurd to ask someone who wasn’t a " so called north Indian",if they played holi.One thing was guaranteed at every home,sweets...sweets and lots of sweets and mostly from homes were I (now) have realized Holi wasn’t celebrated culturally.Call it being naive or just too blindly secular. I never knew Holi could be segregated into regions...states....areas and worst of all would be celebrated in different parts of the same country on different days.

Growing up in Delhi,as kids we looked forward to Holi(for different reasons)Firstly,we were never asked or rather told when to come back home !!.If you were a kiddo,it would mean inhabiting the streets with all possible brands of water pistols and tankers(which you would beg your parents to buy,promising them that they would last several Holi-days) and gang fights.Might was right,in true god father tradition.If you were in the teen and college gang,Holi was the day that colours would play cupid for you(with a little help from the water balloons,too.I was a miserable shooter and ended up hitting street dogs than Greek gods in my colony).

There’s no place like the army,when it comes to celebrating festivals.It’s definitely one of the most secular organizations that exist in today’s fragmented world.Your religion,state,language,sect ceases to exist once you are in the army.It’s one big family,whether you like it or not.Holi’s are arranged par excellence.The officers play colour with the ranks first and then assemble in the mess(the time you have to report with your family is decided by the seniority and rank…so if you are the junior most in the regiment..you report first)There’s something for everyone…..soft drinks,hard liquor(no fauji party is complete without HL),bhang in the drinks..in your pakodas…biryani.For the truly spirited there ‘s a mud pool,accompanied with a shower.It’s a vicious cycle,at whichever point you wish to jump in,you end up feeling sozzled(in mind,body and soul) in the end. It’s a rare leveler of sorts.

It’s not ‘holi’ today,but we have been given a holiday and asked to celebrate.Unfortunately,its one of those festivals that happens only when you are in a gang of like minded…or should I say like coloured people.So,while I’ll be in school,telling children like an old grandmother ,tales from my erstwhile Holi-days,I’ll hope that the rest of you shall be drenched in colours.Just grab a packet of gulal and head out.Don’t worry about formalities and ask people whether they want to play or not and if you happen to be at the receiving end,well just follow Bapu’s advice…
extend the cheek and be a sport.

HAPPY HOLI

24 comments:

Sal said...

G,
Happy Holi!
'ended up hitting street dogs than Greek gods in my colony' - lol. But I hope your aim has improved now :-)
Btw, if you go to Kerala and you would not even know about Holi!
O rang barse...
Cheers,
Sal

Monika said...

ooh this post stuck home... though as a kid i used to hate hate hate holi but then later started playing it heavily but i agree no one asked u whether u play holi...if u dont want to play one has to hide in some corner of the house till found and then made to play even more the bakra that u talked abt

and now i miss damn i miss it

happy holi... so whats ur holi plan

brocasarea said...

happy Holi-day!!!....:)

brocasarea said...

only time i played holi was when i was in 2nd!!...thats the end...:(

Dr Roshan R said...

to br frank, never played Holi in my life.. just one of those things that never came up

--xh-- said...

I played holi :) fortunately, it is one of the festivals our company celebrate religiously, every year :) and yeah, i love playing holi...

Veena said...

I love holi.. when i was younger we would play holi at least 2-3 times a day with different sets of friends.. thankfully i was brought up in the north, where holi is enjoyed thoroughly..

Happy holi lady ! have a colourful day !!!

Prats said...

Happy holi....hope the colors landed on you...
and you did get to enjoy them?!!!

~nm said...

You have written the holi as it used to be when we were kids so perfectly.

But when I see the kids of today playing Holi, tis so differnet. So wild, so uggh coz of hte htings they put..raw eggs, grease etc etc

Gazal said...

Sal
i aim to get better wid age.Unfortunatley not enuf attractive targets here.

@monika
we used to look for people who used to hide.
was working on holi day.sigh

@bro
like i said you need like coloured people.

@rosh
am sure like a lot of things...better late than never.

Gazal said...

@xh
i know..your pics say it all.

@veena
thats the sad thing.why is it a festival of the north?am glad you had a good time.

@prats
it was a white holi.not a drop or speck this year.I feel old.

@nm
glad it brought back memories.these days the kids are too wired literally to get dirty and play holi.

hope you had a good time.

Pretty Me!! said...

this was my third holi i saw in bangalore ,,, but the very first that i played !! had lotsa fun with all my frnds !! belated wishes !

padma said...

It just took me back to my HOLI days in Pune.. with frends!!
Truly agree that you need like minded/ coloured people to enjoy holi in true spirits :-)

Gazal said...

@pratibha
am glad you had a good time.

@pady
we'll get together next time.that is if the school gives me chutti next year.

Suma said...

uhoh! late...

hogged on holi..i've played off and on...its nice when u play with people you know...

Guruprasad said...

played holi in our complex which is pretty good fun... kids and adults all come down to the same level and have a ball... there's music and color and water and HL & bhaang for the spiritually inclined... you get the idea! :)

i hope you had some fun though!

Gazal said...

@suma
never late.

@guruprasad
we had a white holi here.was at work.But good to know that u had a great time.

satish said...

holi re holi

Gazal said...

@satish
belated both in spirit and comment.

buck up

Showa said...

This was nice:->It’s a vicious cycle,at whichever point you wish to jump in,you end up feeling sozzled(in mind,body and soul) in the end. It’s a rare leveler of sorts.

I am surprised that you do not write more.

We should organize BM HOLI Day after the exams are over in April.

Mampi said...

Do the Greek Gods come back with a vengeance? For you couldn't shoot them, i am sure they are raring to be shot now. Do they stand in the way to be killed?
Thank God you don't live in the vicinity of my home. I don't celebrate holi. Yes, I don't. Boring, boring me!!

Gazal said...

@showa
that has motivated me to write.Last years holi at BM was great.I wonder what happened this year.thumbs up to that idea.

@mampi
sigh...
boring ...yes.

Shruthi said...

“ended up hitting street dogs than Greek gods in my colony” lol great line there Gazal..

And yeah I used to play Holi , as a kid. now I have lost interest. Maybe next year I might have some kinda motivation to celebrate :)
And it’s nice to know how the army celebrates Holi.. must be a lot of fun…
great read..

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