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Thursday, March 17, 2016

BA: Holi

I am from Mumbai. And Holi has grown up with time and changed quite a lot.

Holi has always been everyone’s favorite festival. Kids are ready with water balloons and water packets to throw on each other almost a week before Holi. This used to annoy the elders, we never realized why until I started working, and hated my laptop, phone, formals being wet.

So, the day before Holi, the kids were assigned a task to collect, dry grass, twigs, dry empty coconut shells, and the ladies of the building would light the Holi fire and give us kids’ sweets.
And there the kids would plan for the next morning.
We used to be up early morning, wearing the oldest “Holi dress” and filling our little pockets with gulaals and water balloons and stuffing our mouths with mouthwatering freshly made ghujias and non-alcoholic thandaais.

We had this small open tank behind our building where we filled water with every possible color we could find and it was a mandate to put every kid in that tank before starting the actual play
We used to stay in a society; we had a building that shared the compound wall with us. Holi, was no less than an India-Pakistan match between the two societies. It was all perfect planning and delegation. The tall guys take on the center lot, the tinier one back the tall ones, the sides to be managed by another lot. Proper strategies were planned. A perfect guerrilla warfare was organized, with three kids hiding in trees and attacking them. Of course, it was a no-win match.

And yes, how can one forget beautiful pichkaris, that has evolved with age. It started with a small pistols, got promoted to the long tube like pichkaris and evolved to a backpack filled with water and connected to the pichkari.

After the kids were half done with the playing, our parents would come and put gulaals on each other and the whole society had a pot-luck lunch made by all the aunties of the building.

Then a major task scrubbing off the color, finishing every available soap in the bathroom including the clothes washing soap, the shampoo was a norm for us. It was given that one is going to spend at least 2 hours in the bathroom.

The next day, you know which kids have played Holi is with their pink palms and pinkish scalp.

Then we grew up.

The gulaals became, pakka colors of silver, black gold, boot polish. The thandais became bhaangs. Friends in the society, started to vanish on bikes and cars with loud music. Colors became toxic.

Somewhere, in the growing up part, the pure charm of the festival got lost.

I’m pledging to #KhulKeKheloHoli this year by sharing my Holi memories atBlogAdda in association with Parachute Advansed


  1. Hi DeeDee, I found your blog through the A to Z Challenge! I've never been to India, but would very much like to visit some day. My parents had some neighbors from India back when I was living at home, and when their eldest son got married, they had a 2nd reception at their house for their American friends. It was very nice!

    I have enjoyed getting to know more about your culture. Thank you so much! Do you know what you are going to write for the A to Z coming up? I'm undecided as of yet, but as the theme reveal is on Monday (for those using a theme) I need to get ready quickly!

    LuAnn (#378 on the list) @ Back Porchervations.
    (and one of co-host AJ Lauer's #wHooligans)

    1. Hi Lu Ann,

      Thanks for dropping by & thanks for this lovely comment too


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