Wednesday, 27 March 2013

On Holi the Unholy

The Vanishing Face of Gala, Salvador DalĂ­
In another few hours people across (especially not essentially) north India would be dunking anyone on road in colored water, grease, cow dung and what not and shouting, "bura na mano..." which means, "don't feel bad..."

Well, I do feel bad. I feel horribly offended in fact. Whenever a pesky kid runs after me with a water canon or water balloon I feel like giving it back at them. Each time a random drunken lout wanders into my personal space with color and lecherous intent on the road (this starts a few days preceding Holi) I feel like dragging him to the nearest police station. Let's not kid here, Holi is certainly no gentleman's game.

Why do Hindus need to douse unknown or those known to us in water and semi-permanent dye to celebrate the advent of Spring and the new harvest? Why can't we be decent and offer each other sweets and good wishes and maybe even dance around the Holika bonfire? I'm game for that. It certainly beats dancing in wet clothes and making everyone around gawk at you as made famous by Hindi cinema.

Holi is also a Vaishnav festival celebrating the advent of the Narsihma Avatar of Lord Vishnu. He appeared as half-man-half-lion to save his ardent devotee a young prince called Prahalad from the clutches of his evil father and aunt. I wish he'd slap and nail some of these hooligans on the road in the 21st century. "Om Bhagwate Vasudevaya Namah."

With so many beautiful philosophies and premises and such lovely devotional thoughts why did we have to turn to colors, water and then grease and cow dung to celebrate?

I love the idea of a Spring festival. It is the loveliest of season of the year and a time to celebrate rejuvenation and revival when we finally say goodbye to the misery of cold winter. It is a time of the year everyone looks up to and it sure does call for celebrations.

But, spraying water at random women and children and throwing water balloons at the aged? Isn't it tantamount to harassment? I have seen enough women and foreigners being harassed on the roads and in public transport to find the entire idea abominable.

It only helps legitimize eve teasing and harassment of women and innocent victims and should be banned in public places. If someone wants to color themselves up and squeeze someone else's wife or girlfriend it should be with mutual consent and not forced.

So, like every Holi, this year too, I look forward to a day at home, praying and dousing the deities with a bit of dry color or gulal and maybe catch up on some sleep till the afternoon passes and Holi becomes a has been till next year.

To everyone else, "It's Holi everyday if you know how to color your life from inside and not out." Think about it and "Happy Holi!"

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