Today is Holi, one of the biggest festival of Hinduism and celebrated pompously in North India. It is a kind of spring festival of China where most people return back to their families or hometown for the festival. But this used to be done more some 20 years ago. Overtime things have changed partly due to many young people are working in far away from home and cannot afford an expensive return trip back home for 2 days (as festival lasts only 3 days). But still some do return back home for celebration.
In my case I was celebrating Holi after 13 years. Last time I celebrated in 2004, when my sister was also around, she left for US the same year for graduate studies and couldn’t come back again for Holi. After that I celebrated at my UG College for 2 times (these were crazy ones), then have been away mostly and couldn’t come back. This time I could come back home and celebrate with family.
We had lot of sweets at home for the festival. But strangely for the last few days the weather has been cold engulfing the North India in weird chill. The recent rain further dampen the spring festive air, thereby shadowing the bonfire in a gloom. Usually in the festival neighbours gather outside their houses to interact with various people and do the ritual of Holi (smearing coloured powder on each other faces, throwing coloured water at each other, hugging, wishing and feasting on sweets). This ceremony is repeated numerous times during the day whoever comes to meet. In a big gathering with loud music, usually attended by youngsters, all kind of crazy activities happen. But in family gathering it is mostly confined to the above basic activities.
In my case I was mostly inside home in morning and early afternoon. I did see many people playing Holi in park but I was not enthusiast enough to join them. Around 3pm I was having lunch when my cousins, aunt and niece arrived in big car to wish us. I was excited to see their coloured faces and as soon as I opened the door I was coloured from various sides aggressively. This was fun as I was experiencing this after a very long time and I did not protest. We played violent Holi with water and colours for some 1 hour, taking turn to colour each other in various permutation and combinations. It was crazy and fun, something which I was enjoying after a very long time.