Holi: The Festival of Colors - #KhulKeKheloHoli
"Mix the blue & yellow properly.. it will give a darker color"
"Do you think the golden and silver colors are enough?"
"Where are the balloons?"
These would be some of the questions we would shoot as friends & the dilemma, we would face as kids, on the day before Holi. Comparing & deciding on the "loot" for the D-Day (Holi). Arguing over, who would be bringing what, well in advance, so that as mighty warriors we would be prepared to unleash the colors on all and sundry, for after all, it was a festival of joy, of colors & merriment.
Holi, a spring festival, is an ancient Hindu festival, which starts off with lighting a huge bon fire, known as the Holika. A symbolic legend surrounding a demon king, Hiranyakashipu; his son, Prahlad; and his evil sister, Holika surrounds this tradition. As kids, we would start collecting dry wood, leaves & bushes for the bonfire from about a month in advance. It was an important part of the Holi festivities.
Reminiscing the golden childhood years, on the day of Holi, I would be up early, to take an oil bath. This was important, as the colors would not seep into the skin & dry it out. Removing the colors would also be easier. Parachute coconut oil, would be applied in liberal quantities all over the exposed body. My grandmother would advise me to be careful with my eyes. This memory is so clearly etched in my brain, that it feels like yesterday. After the elaborate process, I would don my old clothes, so that the colors would not spoil my new ones & set out with my water gun, color powders & water balloons. Like soldiers, ready for battle, all the kids from the society would gather at a common per-decided spot , preparing for the attack.
It would start off with the dry powder colors. Faces would be smudged with them. Then the bottled liquid colors would be mixed in buckets & we would fill the water guns & start spraying. Naughty kids at their best (or worst?!), we would fight with colors, spraying all those who came on the way, shouting chants of "Bura na mano, Holi hai !!!" (Translated-Don't feel bad, it's Holi, after all! )
After a while, we would be unrecognizable, so much so that our own parents would find it difficult to catch hold of us to call us home. At home, the aroma of delicacies would greet me, when I entered. Mummy, would be busy preparing, Puran poli, a Maharashtrian sweet meat, made on the occassion. After, a good bath, which involved scrubbing till atleast eighty percent of the colors came off (100 % was unimaginable), we would as a family sit down for lunch.
Writing this post, made me nostalgic. Today, with water shortages, chemical color powders, & busy lifestyles, Holi is ignored. Somewhere, we are ignoring the tradition and the rich culture, which makes the festival so special. But, what makes me happy is the awareness amongst the masses- about the significance of saving water, of using organic colors & of donating money to charity on the occasion. Maybe, we all celebrate in our own way, for isn't it a Festival of Colors, of Happiness ? So, this Holi, ensure that you give it your all, and enjoy to the fullest.
“I’m pledging to #KhulKeKheloHoli this year by sharing my Holi memories at BlogAdda in association with Parachute Advansed.”
Image Courtesy- Sarah sarna, Google, Pinterest.