After writing that lukewarm post on Holi yesterday, I did not sleep easy. I mean here was a rocking festival right at my doorsteps and all I could think of was catching up on sleep! To redeem myself a bit, I decided to play the photographer. I did play my mild Holi as well, which was neither here nor there but I did enjoy the pictures bit a lot.
I noticed that while smaller kids were interested in pitchkaris (water guns) the elder ones were simply interested in throwing water by mugs, a bucket was even better!
Soon the neighborhood resembled a war zone with colors and water flying all around. It is a testimony to the sharafat (good behavior) of the kids that I could click pictures and nothing happened to my precious, my camera! Chhavi as usual was having a blast!
She is one of the quietest kids in the neighborhood, though her mother strongly disagrees with me. She is Chhavi’s best friend. Even she had a trick or two up her sleeves!
There were ebbs and flow in the warfare. After all the smaller kids got tired after a while. I didn’t let Chhavi venture out before having her breakfast but the ones who resisted got cranky within no time!
One of the cutest and well behaved kids stopped for a while to give me a smile! The homes that kept water buckets were magnet for the kids. After one bucket of water I freaked out. His home was one of the last bastions for water!
From last few years I have seen this spray can being used. While it did make the scene colorful, I am not sure if this is good for the skin.
Chhavi turned into a green monster very quickly as a result of the dual. She didn’t like the stuff, thankfully it came off very easily with water. Within a minute her discomfort was forgotten and she was on her way again!
He is one of the jumpiest kid around, this picture is actually quite misleading. But he didn’t seem to like the outcome of this particular dual!
She already knew that the water guns are for babies, the grown ups splash with a mug full of cold water!
At one point this cute kid told her friends to stop as her water color was over! I told the kids that was the time when you attack with double vigor! She soon filled her tank and got back in action!
I hope you too had a colorful Holi which was a blast! Now I know what to do to enjoy Holi! As long as the kids remain well behaved I will attack the festival with my precious!
When I got back from work today my father complained about Chhavi saying she was playing with so much water, he had to change her clothes five times, literally. Now Chhavi and Nana are the best of the friends. Neither can find any fault with the other! So, I know she must have irritated the hell out of him which made him complain, that too first thing when I got home. She went to sleep, full of excitement for her plans about Holi tomorrow.
That made me think about Holi and festivals in general and my relationship, or rather the lack of it. I am sure as a kid I must have been as excited as Chhavi about Holi and other festivals. And yet I don’t remember much of it. I always went out and played Holi in my childhood, that much I remember. But then it is all hazy. I don’t think I ever had a wild Holi and that I miss it terribly.
Then things should have improved in college but even then it was tepid affair. I do remember playing with mud once, but hey I now think I should have done that every year, at least in college. When I was doing my Ph.D. intelligently the mid semester break used to happen during Holi, so that there would not be too many disciplinary problems in the institute. Many postgraduate students and some undergraduate students would stay back but then once again, there is absolutely nothing special that I can wax eloquent about.
Then came a time when there was no small kid in the family. My nephews were grown up and their interest in the festival was not that great anymore. I think at least one Holi, Seshadri and I didn’t even bother to go out. But with Chhavi, those days are over, till she grows up!
I guess this lack of enthusiasm has got nothing to do with the festival and much more to do with me. I sincerely hope the kids will let me sleep till late tomorrow morning, OK reasonably late. That is all I want from Holi.
But I know many of you are going to get out and have a gala time. Wish you all a colorful Holi, may you be with your friends and family and that unlike me you are planning to start your day at an early hour.
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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