Happy Holi

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Source: photoshelter.com

One of the few hitches of hailing from a place in North India and staying in the Southern part is the lack of festivities surrounding the Festival of Holi. There are hardly any streets splashed with colours with buckets and mugs strewn around. Nor are there people dancing and singing their heads off. Everyone is busy at office/college and the fun associated holy is nonexistent for all practical purposes of consideration.

Days were better when we were still in college. We would abscond from classes to take part in Holi celebrations instead. Those were good times. A threatening text to the class representative from the faculty would send us all into frenzy and we would report to the class, soaked in colours and paints, dripping muck all over the way. Our exasperated faculties would look at our beyond recognition visage, would mark attendance for us, impart a few words of wisdom and let us loose. Again! And then, it was back to basking in the glory of colours and soaking in happiness and laughter all around.

But nothing beats the fun and frolic of Holi with family members and friendly neighbors  The preparations before going out for the riot of colours, the smearing of oils on every inch of bare skin and all over the scalp, the meticulous planning for an open area, inventory of raw materials, the pondering over what to wear and everything else. God! I could go and on and the list would never end. After the colourful riot in the morning, and attempt to coax colours off from skin and scalp all afternoon – it would be back to colours again by sun set – dry ones this time.

The laughter, the nakhras, the sweets, the drinks, the special dishes, the colours, the time management, the cleaning, the decoration, the planning, the singing and dancing, the history and richness encompassing the festival, the festivities surrounding the day- everything is ingrained deeply in our hearts, souls and minds. One would think that five years away from home would subtle down the twinge for the festivities at home. But my heart still aches to be with family and friends while I am going to try and have at least some part of the Holi that is now Once Upon a Time.

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When it’s Apt to Speak up and When it’s Not

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent
about things that matter.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

The above quotes apply to us for all walks of our lives. All of us, at some point in our lives have chosen to stay unvoiced for various reasons, knowing full well that our judgment held better or the stand was righteous.

Time and again, the decision of keeping mum is a consequence of the unfavorable circumstances. Who would like to be thrown out from a job due to a varying opinion from that of his boss and a vehement argument in support of the same?

But does that mean we should just sit tight and do nothing every time a superior/stronger/dominating person dumps his views and opinions on us. Of course not. That way the tyranny will never end, be it personal or professional.

But, there is a way to put things forth so as not to hold a match to a heap of gunpowder. Humble, polite and diplomatic does it. Outright, straightforward may not be the way to approach such conflicting situations (especially when the person is a stronger position either rank wise or build up wise 😉 ).

On the other hand, respecting and accepting the decision or opinion of a person whom you trust, shouldn’t be a complaint. He/she will wisely try to  strike up a balance in your mutual relationship to the best of his/her ability. But you should recognize the signs of imbalance and know when it is the time to speak out your views. More so, when the decisions start running into his favor and fatally depleting in yours on a customary basis 😛

This post stems from recent real life incidences.

The Ball and the Lizard

All of us had troubles with our siblings; many of us have looked for it. Those are probably one of the best memories of childhood. But we always knew just when to get them into trouble and when to stand by their side and see the trouble cool down. Here’s one such story from my family fold from ages ago.

Once upon a time (yes, long back) there was a happy family. The family lived in a huge estate of a British India style house, replete with gardens. The house had a veranda where the family had dinner during the hot summer nights, soaked scarce sunlight in chilly winter afternoons and the kids played.The couple had five children, a girl being the eldest. Four brothers followed her. The parents worked hard to provide for their needs and at the same time give them a nice upbringing and instill good values.

So, this one day, the four boys were playing a game of cricket. The father was yet to return from work. Mom and sister were out grocery shopping. After about half an hour of game, one of the boys hit the ball hard and it traversed the boundary of accepted playing area. All of them watched in slow motion as the ball kept flying to hit the tube light on the wall. As the glass broke to shreds and splattered over the floor, sweat started breaking on the boys foreheads. Everybody looked up to the eldest brother for directions. Before anybody got back home, something had to be done. They set off to task. All of them cleared up the mess, cleaned themselves up and set to study. Meanwhile, the eldest concocted a story to relay to all the three elders.

Mom and sister arrived and were astonished to see the boys at study. As is the custom at our homes, the house has to be lit during the dusk time of the day. The sister switched on the ill-fated tube light of veranda, which was now deceased. One look at the guilty nervous faces and she got the whole story. All of them waited for dad’s return from office. He did return and not in a good mood. He discovered the same thing as his daughter. He turned on the boys, called them to his room and gave them a dose of importance of discipline, money and time-table. He dealt with them strictly and asked them to name the person who broke the tube light. He tried asking them all together and then asked them separately.

But there were only different versions of one story that he got to know. “While these guys sat watching “news” in the TV, they heard a crash outside. When they filed one by one at the place of the incident, they noticed that a lizard was running away from the scene and that the tube light had been broken into shards.”

Frustrated of hearing the same story from all the four, the father called back the youngest son who was 9 years old. He beckoned him to sit on his lap. The poor kid must have trembled at the thought of punishment. He sank into his lap. Meanwhile, the rest of three boys were sure their secret was out. The father tried to lure him into telling him the truth about the tube light. He offered him treats. He hugged him close. He kissed his forehead. He scolded him hard. He raised his hands to scare him in to telling the truth.

Next day, the father went to office with a heavy and proud heart. He still did not know who had actually done the deed. But the incident told him that these kids will stick around with each other, no matter what. He knew that he had good kids who will carry on his family name to greater heights. He was proud of his family.

And his faith holds true till date. Though all of them have their own separate families and have settled in four different parts of India, they are more connected than most of the families that I have ever seen.