Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Saturday was Holi. Another year. But a new house. Same colours. And as luck would have it, a similar crowd going wild, to look down on, from the balcony. And watched I did, like every year. This time from my 8th floor balcony.

The building provided the colours, which you could smear liberally on your sizzling neighbour and whoever you fancy. The building also got a DJ to churn out the lastest chartbusters while you wildly shook every managable part of your body. The building then put sprinklers all around the "dance floor", to drench every Eve and Adam. And true colours were revealed.

The shy wife, who hardly talks, was gyrating sensuously. The mother-in-law tied her dupatta around her waist and did a powerful garba-like tandav. The pot bellied men tried shaking themselves in the name of dance. Several groups of guys and girls, dancing fast and close with their now-wet-and-see-through attires. It was difficult to make out such a motley crowd, painted beyond recognition, from such a height.

Now the best part was, the kind building put up a buffet too, where dosawalas furiously flattened dosas, bhajias were fried in a massive kadai, pani punis were dished out... and god knows what. What the building did not provide was alcohol and forbade anyone to even drink it there. The hubby was dying to go grab a bite but even for him the price was too high to pay. Colour on your face, hair, ears, nose, eyes and then wet to the skin. Not worth it.

So we readied to leave for the friend's party. Hubby neatly wore his festive best and warned me against wearing anything nice lest someone hurls colour on me and I would be finding another excuse to buy new clothes, so he said!

From the moment I entered I pitched myself next to the food and kept eating and drinking. A few people were talking and laughing too much and I saw a few dead asleep in the bedrooms. Effects of bhaang, hmm... I settled for vodka. Safer. Amidst hot malpuas and cheer, I didn't realised when I was pressed with a glass of thandai, with bhaang of course. Another glass. And soon I was in seventh heaven. But I didn't sleep. The others did.

The hosts' kid, a little monster, innocently asked, "why do people come and sleep on Holi?"

This is the kind of Holi I like. Fun, food and friends. And I would definitely like to forget the time I was dunked in a little pool. It frightened the hell out of me. I hated it when my parents' friends came over on Holi and attacked them with dreadful colours. It troubled me no end. The helplessness of my mother as she ran, covering her face. Maybe I suffer an aversion towards Holi since then.

But Holi being a holi-day, I have always welcomed it with open arms. And bhaang made it so much better this time. I am already looking forward to next year!


Blogger shweyta said...

I totally miss Holi and all our other festivals, living outside the country. That, I guess is one of the aspects of life in India which you can never get anywhere else!!

10:18 PM  
Blogger Chakra Sampath said...

holi reminds me of one incident at college..

At Trichy - TN, holi is considered a northish festival but who gives a damn for north/south things in college... a group of us happily went abt splashing colours and one of the victims happened to be the principal in his whites.. he was getting ready to receive someone important and he really got wild.. on hearing that he is visiting each & every class in search of the culprits, we rushed to the loo and changed our clothes.. funniest thing is, on seeing our fresh clothes he said "there are some dirty morons splashing colours round the college.. take care of your clothes.." :)

2:09 PM  
Blogger Colors said...

You stay in a nice place to have organized all that! Festivals and holidays are meant to be enjoyed...as long as u enjoy it..it doesnt matter how u enjoy it.

12:42 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Your post makes me wanna try bhaang ...can you believe I've never tried it? And half my jawaani is almost over..or maybe more than half; i'm not telling...i'm been a strictly vodka-7up person so far but it's time to expand...

9:43 AM  
Blogger anumita said...

shweyta: I guess I am grumbling because I don't realise how much I would miss it if it wasn't celebrated. But I just love all the other festivals.

chakra sampath: Good time you guys had. I hardly played in college too. Usually chicken out at the last minute and hide.

colors: Here, almost all buildings celebrate all festivals with great gusto! And you are treated to a festive mood with loud music blaring most evenings. Though it's a different story we only watch from the balcony and then go to celebrate with friends who live in different buildings.

gratisgab: It was my first time too and my jawaani has long gone! You MUST try it! It's delicious with the chilled milk and plenty of crushed dry fruits and nuts in it. Usually even I stick to vodka-7up or wine, but Holi means bhaang and I didn't want to look prudish. Thankfully I loved it!

10:03 AM  
Blogger Pallavi said...

hahah we had a coorful Holi on Thursday !! :) in Office... and had special Holi lunch too !! :)

12:56 PM  
Blogger Khushee said...

Holi sounds like so much fun. I'll have to make sure that when I do visit India eventually, it should be around Holi time :)

5:42 AM  
Blogger anumita said...

pallavi: Our office never played any Holi or had any special lunch!!! But we had a million people messaging each other in office wishing everyone a happy Holi and it was painful!

Khushee: Holi is just one of the festivals. Actually if you are coming, aim for Diwali. It's a great time, very colourful, festive with the entire city lit up and happy people around.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Tricorn said...

Thanks for the well-wishes, Anumita!

Will have great fun, right after I get my forehead stitched up! (involved in highway pile-up)

No worries!

*thumbs up*

2:56 PM  
Anonymous colours said...

I have never celebrated Holi - strange isn't it??

11:56 AM  
Blogger anumita said...

tricorn: You better be careful on the highway. Forehead stitching shouldn't become a habit.

colours: Let me assure you, you haven't missed much.

2:41 PM  
Blogger Twilight Fairy said...

Bhaang had just the 'sleep' effect on u? no other things being done repeatedly? :)

4:22 PM  
Blogger Requiem for a Dream said...

wahhh...i miss home...i can just remember last year...we had so much bhaang that 6 of us were laughing for 3 days...it was so awesome....boohooo..i wanna go to india...
crybaby pankaj

4:44 AM  
Blogger anumita said...

twilight fairy: No other effect on me but someone was very depressed. And I know of cases where 'repeating' happened... wearing the same shoe again and again, telling the same joke and laughing stupidly!

requiem: 3 days effect of bhaang!! How did you stop laughing finally?

4:58 PM  
Blogger Twin-Gemini said...

Nice description of the Holi scene there. Havent had bhang before, should try it next time I go home.

12:48 AM  
Blogger anumita said...

twin gemini: Do have bhaang when you come down next. But I hope you don't blame me for the effects!

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey how does one get over the bhaang? I mean, is there an anitdote of sorts, or something?

2:26 AM  

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