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.