The festival colours, Holi, has always been one of the most celebrated festivals across the country. The beauty, thrill and pure joy unite people despite age and socio-cultural differences.
We are in love with the idea of Holi. The festival of colours makes for some awe-inspiring visuals and camaraderie. Indians of all creeds arrange themselves in tapestries of colour and spirit. The spectrum of humanity sets itself into a storm of shades.
Holi is a celebration of the senses. A triumphant amalgam of sound and spirit, and hues and flames. A time to reflect on stories that humanity shares. Stories of good and evil, told in breathless tones by a bonfire.
Of raucous victories and chants, experiences that embed themselves into children’s minds. There’s a little bit of Holi in every Indian’s childhood memories. The scents and shades of these powdered pigments can’t help but waft into our nostalgia.
It’s the songbird of festivals, bringing with it tell of spring coming. And that winter is gone at last. But the fires remain; to remind us of the age of silence. As mother nature goes from monochrome to explosive vibrance, splashes of colour streak across our cheeks. Reminding the universe that our world mirrors hers.
But we grow up. And we carry our traditions into brave new worlds. Worlds where love and life intersperse in more contemporary ways of celebrating. For all its magic, not everybody’s thrilled with the traditional means. From organic colours to keeping the festivities dry, many options are available to the nouveau generation.
The same colours for great memories and animated pictures must be prepared. Lathering oil onto your skin, so it took less than a few hours to get rid of it, was a yearly ritual in every household. And god forbid any of it got onto glasses. The world would be tinted pinkish and blue for the next few days.
The same could be said for one’s skin. For all the washing and copious scrubbing one undergoes after the festival, there’s always a tinge of colour that leaves you looking faintly alien. And all of this is after the fact. Colouring loved ones is fun, but nobody enjoys getting them in your mouth. Worrying about where the colours can get can mar the experience.
“Bura na mano holi hai”,
They say as they come to put colours, that is bound to have a reaction and leave someone itchy and red for days.
“Bura na mano holi hai”,
They say as they throw colours on the little, voiceless strays, who wail in agony, trying to escape from the fray.
There’s also the element of such proximity to strangers. The same togetherness that Holi fosters can also allow for unwanted elements to hurt you. There are many different ways to celebrate this beautiful festival of colours. After all, adding colour to your life doesn’t just have to be throwing colours and water on unsuspecting people.
On a painting day for the whole family, everyone gets together to paint something as a group, art that will last generations, art that will reflect all that they stand for and art that was created on the joyous occasion of Holi.
Maybe spending the day in an animal shelter to see their tails wag in happiness instead of terror. A solo dance party, where you groove to the countless Bollywood songs on Holi if the idea of meeting many people doesn’t seem like the best thing to do.
The backbone of every festival is the food; learning to make traditional Holi foods like Gujiya, Thandai, and Papri chaat can be a fun way to maintain the festive spirit without hassles. After a big meal, Playing card games/ board games or any other type of games like dumb charades etc., with a few close ones, might be needed.
With that in mind, MTTN wishes you a happy and mindful Holi!
Written by Arjun Khade and Navya Behrani for MTTN
Edited by Aarthika Srinivasan for MTTN
Image by Karine G on Pinterest
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