“Holi re holi “ I remember this song sung by many our heroines of the seventies and eighties bathing in a Splash of colours and singing. Certainly the festival of colours is symbolic of the warmth and exuberance of the North Indians. The North Indians Joie de vivre is amazing. The festivals celebrated by them have a charm of their own right from Bhaiyya dooj to Karva Chauth. Though the festival is celebrated both by the young and the old it is more a festival of the young as we need abundant energy. Other than the tomboyishness of the festival it is a festival that kindles the spirit of love and camaradarie. The festival is celebrated when the whiff of summer is in the air.
I remember celebrating Holi both at Delhi and Calcutta. One particular incident still remains in my heart though the years have gone by. On the particular Holi day in the seventies my brother and I started stocking ourselves with balloons and Pichkaris. We filled the balloons with coloured water and inflated as many as possible. Our older friends were there to hep us with conseil. We jumped from terrace to terrace and hit our friends in the neighboring streets with our balloons. What pleasure to thump our friends with balloons and see the balloon explode. The Pichkaris were also fun. Seeing a rainbow of colours and drenching our friends was a great joy. That particular Holi the adventure spirit in us seemed more than ever. Influenced by our peers we went to the next neighbourhood and started playing Holi. It was a fun and frolic with mob fury and a maze of colours. Our clothes were drenched and our cheeks and body red with Gulal. The aunties had also admonished us with plenty of sweets. When three hours had lapsed we returned back with the crowd. Our parents were waiting anxiously at the doorstep. My father was fuming red and angry. He was waiting to have lunch and had the plate in his hand. He was so mad at us that he brandished us with the plate till our bottoms were sore. My mother stood by helpless watching my father vent out his anger. Than we were asked to rush to the bathroom and remove the grease in our cheeks and peel out our wet clothes. We followed instructions not wanting to face our fathers wrath. I remember that particular Holi with amusement.