As a child my memories of Holi are of neighbours, friends and all gathering up at our home for a potluck lunch or all of us going off for a picnic together where we played holi to our heart’s contentment. It was a time of much excitement, planning and coordination for all of us. After 6-8 hours of the fun, it would be time to wash it off and then sleep early as we would be bushed by the end of it.
Then came teenage and brought with it some nasty shocks on holi. Some schoolmates came home to play with us and one of them pushed an egg down my back and then slapped hard to break it. The shock, anger and frustration was huge as tears pooled in my eyes at the hurt too. These were my friends – why would they do this to me? I could only stare in despondency as they ran away howling with mad laughter. I remember not talking to them in school after that and ignored them largely later too.
Next holi brought keechad, shiny powders and pakka rang – I got a rash from some of it and had to live with colour on my skin in places for at least a week. It was horrible, to say the least. I vowed to stop playing it since then as the senselessness of such fun made me see red. I took to boycotting the festival by staying indoors and refusing to come out to greet anyone.
I moved to Delhi for work and that’s when Holi reared its ugly head again. I was walking to my place of work after getting off the bus, when a water balloon hit me quite hard. There was colored water in it and ruined my perfect office outfit first thing in the am – this was about a week before holi. When I started to admonish the 8-10 year olds I could see giggling away, an elder of their house stepped out to scold me. I was told quite emphatically that kids will be kids and this is holi. Maybe its better I don’t step out of the house for a few days, if I was such a sourpuss! I was utterly gobsmacked by the sheer brazenness of that adult.
This is the pathetic mindset to date of parents/elders who instead of restraining their children from committing misbehaviour in public; put the onus on others who are supposed to bear it in the name of maturity as kids are such innocent babes and will be so till they grow up.
Why do people have children? To inflict them on the ones who have chosen to be childfree? When will these lousy parents grow up and take stock of their responsibility towards the life that they have brought into this world?
I am yet to comprehend the mazaa people get in forcing holi onto unwilling participants. Is it the perversity in them to be able to touch and feel women, that they otherwise cant? Is is the excuse they need to release their sexual frustrations? I bet this is the only day that they can shed propriety and be shameless in venting out those desires!
I will admit that this article has been borne out of my pent-up frustrations that boiled over by the news of “semen” filled water balloons being thrown on girls in Delhi today.
Seriously folks what have we become that such is our need to celebrate this festival which was once the sacred one between Krishna and his lovers? There are legends of Shiva Parvati playing holi in Benares after their wedding which to day is celebrated with great pomp and show. Or look at the Barasana ki Lathmaar holi which is revered across the communities.
Why have we denigrated it to eggs, slime, muck and now even semen it seems?
What sort of education system is in play these days to bring out such depravity in the name of fun?
When parents can talk about good/bad touch with their children; why is it that zabardasti is omitted from the same lesson?
For me this festival is to be abhorred at all costs and I don’t even venture to play sukha gulal holi with neighbours who drop in to visit. I just don’t trust the mentality of people wanting to play holi, especially folks I barely know.
My fervent wish is to have a ban imposed on playing holi in public places to stop such incidents from happening. I think a legal ban will put some fear in the parents to educate their children and maybe just maybe this nonsense will stop.
Come to think of it, the moral policing vanar senas go out on a limb to prevent Valentine day from happening as boys and girls together is – haw, shame shame!! So why can’t they pick up the cudgels on holi to prevent women from being molested in the name of holi? Why the double standards?
What say folks? Do you agree with the hooliganism or is it merely holi ka huddang which is being blown out of proportions?