It’s Holi!

Rads’s post on Holi sent me back on a trip down memory lane. I have only ever celebrated Holi once. I hate being ‘dirtied’ in color and dreaded stepping out on ‘Holi’ should some enthusiastic stranger decide to anoint me with gulal. I escaped all my school years simply because Madras and specially the suburb I grew up in had very few people who celebrated.

College in Coimbatore was different though. There were occasional episodes of being unwillingly made colorful. The final year however, saw me and my friends plan to celebrate it. The details are hazy now, but I have memories of running in the ground near the stadium with a friend determined to apply color following me. A little while later, the bunch of us were summoned to the AO’s room and given a nice lecture on ‘decency and decorum’. I got a special lecture as well since the AO was friends with my father. I remember the boisterous feeling evaporate and feeling very small standing in front of him.

Looking back, I wonder if I never really enjoyed the festival because it is a festival of sponatenity and I saw myself as prim and practical? Or I felt it was something alien to me. Looking at all the holi wishes and pics on facebook makes me want to celebrate now.

Happy Holi!!

7 comments

  1. heh, I know what you mean. When we were there it was frowned upon, now I believe it’s become common as much as V-day and Halloween are! 🙂

    No time like the present, find an Indian assoc that celebrates nearby and gatecrash!

  2. Happy Holi Laksh. I totally get what you are saying. I always dodged Holi even though I grew up in North. And the only time I got Gulal on my face was while working in Wipro. I gave one lecture to the person who did it as I am allergic to color and I am sure to get Asthmatic attack during this time.

    Here of course it is according to my wish 🙂 I like it this way, even my hubby a UP-wala doesn’t play Holi here. He keeps saying that we need to go to India during Holi and I for one is totally against it.

    Only aspect of Holi I like is the sweet ‘Gujiya’ and I make it every year.

  3. Ah fond memories, growing up I only heard stories, then when I spent the year in India and celebrated it was great, to see everyone happy and enjoying life and each others company. I do miss it hear and wish my son can enjoy the spontaneous freedom to share joy and happiness with all around him, one day.

  4. Happy ‘belated’ Holi! Well, i think holi is great festival. Me and my friends all get totally drenched in colour-filled water. It starts with dry gulal and ends with grease. Yesterday, somebody even threw pepsi all over me! It was fun! And plus, all the people in our colony celebrate it together and then there is this lunch for everyone. So, its a society get-together kind of a thing.
    But yes, as you say, it also depends on the kind of person you are.

  5. I have a theory (of course it plays into a huge stereotype – but then a stereotype is a theory by itself, isn’t it? :))- we South Indians are so conditioned to be controlled and proper, that spontaneity and impulsive actions feel quite alien. Which is why celebrating Holi (such a totally giving-in-to-the-moment festival with colour and bhang) is so tough and needs to be thought-through and we need to force ourselves to celebrate it. Just as the breaking into a boisterous dance at a north indian wedding or a baraat seems so difficult to a southie while it comes so instinctively to a northie. The north Indian way of celebrating Diwali, with lighting lamps and bursting firecrackers, in contrast, is far more easy to follow when we move up north – it is so much more civilized!

  6. @rads: Yup. Sadly spent the weekend working on a paper due today. No gatecrashing holi parties for me.
    @manchus: Is gujiya the same as somasi?
    @Nandini: You are making me want to play it. Now!
    @kiran: now you are making me want to experience it at least once.
    @Shalu: Sounds fun! Hope the color is all off you now.
    @Small Talk: Absolutely on board with your theory. I think it is true. At least it applies to me well and I am as southie as I can get. 🙂

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