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Ho(o)li-ganism the new definition for the festival of colour – HOLI!


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holi-hooliganism-festival-of-colours-barsana-lathmaar-benares-mathura-indiaAs 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?

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Passionate about everything design, I am in love with photography, travel and baking. My writing journey was initiated with my letter writing hobby as a child and has metamorphosised into serious blogging. I indulge with reading fantasy fiction, day dreaming and sipping good wine.

31 thoughts on “Ho(o)li-ganism the new definition for the festival of colour – HOLI!

  1. The semen filled water balloon thing is appalling! I just wish that people could just stop doing such questionable stuff. I agree, with the fact that the respect should be given to those who do not want to be a part of the festival. I don’t like the idea of forcing things on people!

    1. It is so sickening to hear the mindset in play in our country where people hide behind religion/festival to degrade to this level. This news (fake or otherwise) has filled me with even more disgust for this noxious festival and I pray its soon banned in out country.

  2. WHAT???? Semen filled balloons??? Yuckssss!!
    This is the limit, yaar! Have they lost all sense?
    I too dislike Holi, for the very same reason. I remember, when I was in class 11, I was out with my Mamaji, on the day of Holi, and there was this big group of boys standing on a street corner. We were going to meet our family friends living just a little distance away when a group of boys approached us. And one among them just came and applied gulal on my face (I think that was the guy who had been troubling me, that a******e!). I felt so sick! Just because I ignored his advances, he came up with this idea to touch me! I still feel sick just thinking about that incident. After that day, I just stopped celebrating this festival. It lost its beauty back then, almost 30 years ago. Then they used to apply oil paint, you know? How scary it used to be!

    I agree. People lose all manners and sense of behaviour during this festival and think it’s all accepted. It should be banned, just the way they have banned Valentine’s Day. It’s just madness, Shalz, and it makes my blood boil!

    1. The news seems to be churning out the stories on the semen filled balloons and somehow I am not surprised that by now its not sure whether this was a fake news/ girls were throwing them on other girls and there is also a peroid blood filled one too!! I have no clue if the semen one is true or not – but the thought of it disgusts to no end. Disgust is more at the mindset which generated this idea in the first place!
      I hate holi too and its truly degenrated down to rowdy behaviour in name of a HIndu festival. It should be limted to playing in private spaces to stop moletation and harrassement of others on the roads.
      A big hug to you for the horrific memory – it must have felt so dirty and frustrating as you couldnt do anything. Damn girl – if he is still around, tell me; will help you bury the body!!!
      And yes I have seen most variations of ingenuity in the name of holi colours – people are just depraved and sick to brand this all as fun!

  3. stopped playing holi more than a decade back… It was fun when we were young, but not after that. The colors were too harsh … And who the eff plays holi with Khichad. I have seen it and was totally repulsed by the idea. It makes me sad that our beautiful festivals are slowly turning into a menace. Be it holi or diwali. I didn’t know about semen news… That’s downright disgusting. Gosh!
    Stay safe ❤

    1. It seems the news channels went all out to blur the lines and this semen news is actually now fading into oblivion for lack of evidence. There are too many versions of this story with even menstrual blood filled ones being talked about too! Plus it seems girls are throwing them on other girls!! WTF
      Degrading mindset to have and use – this is what we are turning into out here in India!

  4. Everyone talks about banning firecrackers for Diwali, I think, they should ban playing holi on public places atleast like that. In South India we don’t play holi much but in college I remembered boys throwing eggs on girls which was disgusting.

    1. Exactly my thoughts Ramya- this festival should be banned from playing in public to stop people from harassing others! Folks have turned into a disgust fest over the years and it no longer bears any charm for me!

  5. Very good point about the moral police that object to Valentine’s Day when Holi, as you so rightly say is quite a hooligan’s festival giving thoughtless folk the license to do anything – from groping women you couldn’t normally touch to the ultimate in disgust – semen filled balloons. Horrid.
    I love Holi though and play only with my friends with flower petal colour, gujias, sitting amongst flowers.
    Happy Holi Shalini and a belated Happy Birthday.

    1. Your holi sounds lovely and yes thats what it is supposed to be like. Not the disgusting festiavl the morons have turned it into .
      Wish you a very happy Holi too and hey I am guessing you are wishing my blog bday as mine is still a few weeks away!! Thanks and cheers Kalpana 🙂

  6. Its is disgusting the way the joys of a festival have been robbed. And the heights of it all is the semen filled water balloon. When are people going to change their mindset. ?? It indeed is hooliganism. There is just no holi in it.

    1. How true and sad Ramya- its indeed descended into a disgust fest and there is no joy in revering it today! I guess there are people who celebrate it in its true spirits even today but on the whole, this festival has degenrated to a lot of filth and harassment.

  7. Was never a fan of Holi especially since I had colour rubber into my eyes as a ten year old. Took hours of washing to get it out. My daughter loves to play it though with her friends in the apartment so I let her. But I never step out on Holi for this specific reason. Most people have no boundaries. It’s one festival I’m truly scared of.

    1. I so agree with you about people having no boundaries inthe name of this stupid festiavl; I am scared o fit too and hibernate home for a few days beofre and after it as I just dont have the pateince to get into any arguements over it. People have no sensitivity when it comes to forcing others to play with them. They have no regard for the unwilling participant’s will and make a nuisance out of themselves. This persecution in the name of Holi is abhorring and disgusting!

  8. Holi was super fun for us as kids. But now this is one festival that I hate with vengeance. And since the last 5-6 years, I have stopped playing it altogether. It was because of the harsh colours and subsequent skin allergies, usage of anything and everything and the licence it gives some people to misbehave. Forcing unwilling people to play Holi is something gets my goat. Semen filled balloons — people have stooped to the lowest of the lows!!

    1. Yeah this is one festival thats truly off my list and I dont indulge in it even itty bitty bit; except for wishing ppl if I do see them on this day! 😉

  9. We need to stop the idea of ‘Bura na mano Holi hai’ from spreading! I remember having wonderful times with my friends and family during Holi and I also remember being ambushed by eggs when we were waiting on the bus-stop to go back home from college. The eggs were just flying from no-where!
    I think 2 weeks of community service punishment if found misbehaving, will go a long way in developing cleaner India and cleaner mentality 😛

    1. Yeah Neha that is seriously so depraved and filthy – why do people feel the need to be so disgusting to celebrate a festival? Why this innane need to harass women or unwilling participants into playing this festival? Your idea of community service is an excellent one!! Now if only our adminstration would learn and implent it 😉

  10. So sorry you had to go through all of this and have some painful memories of a festival which is supposed to bring happiness and joy. Sometimes people have no sense and take games to a very annoying level (like breaking the egg and throwing water on random strangers). I hate it when kids try to get away with such behaviour and some old person sides with them instead of telling the kids for behaving badly. And I can’t understand the levels to which people stoop down, what sadistic pleasure would they get out of all these acts! Sigh.

    1. Thanks Ashwini – even I cant understand the motivation behind this crassness; how are people even convinced int heir heads to go to such lengths – all in the name of a festival?

  11. Love you for writing this, Shalzy. This is one festival I absolutely detest. Coming from the South, I have never played Holi in my life and imagine my horror when I find these disgusting stuff being thrown at you in the name of Holi! As you said, playing Holi in public places should be banned. There is no two ways about it.

    1. Thanks so much Shalzzz – I can understand how you must be reacting to it as you have never played it before ; imagining the depravitiy in the name of a festival can be tough!! I sincerely hope someday there will be a public ban on this to stop all the harassement and nonsense that folks have to endure in its name.

  12. Holi now is more of scary thing. Just a week before we have to cautious before stepping out of the house. I too remember, once When I was on way to college how suddenly 2 bikers stopped and poured colors on me and I did nothing but stare. It took me seconds to realize what had happened. With the changing time, definition of holi too has changed

    1. Gosh! that sounds scary Mansi- how one feels like beating the shit out of these louts who are so so poorly brought up that they dont know the difference between right and wrong. Its really sickening to see men vent their sexual frustrations on Holi. These sickos have no values – moral or otherwise and think its funny to molest women! I wish this festival would be banned for good!

  13. I have written something on the same lines just yesterday Shalz. Having brought up in U.P. Holi was one of the most dreaded festivals for me. A week before and at-least 4 days post Holi we were home-bound. Reason – of course ‘Bura Na Mano Holi Hai’. I have been thrown muck & eggs on during school days, and despised this celebration since then.
    Semen filled Balloons was appalling, and then the another incident in karol bagh of groping and coloring a young lady forcefully. High time we take some strict measures to stop this menace at grass root level.

    1. This forceful playing of holi is just an excuse for men to vent out their sexual frustrations – its sickening for us women! I wish there were stricter laws in place or maybe women senas should organise themselves on holi to deter such hooliganism! We women need to take the law in our hands as the law is totally helpless in this event!

  14. When I heard about this incident, that is, semen-filled balloons were thrown at girls in Delhi, I just couldn’t believe it at first!! The next emotion was anger, sheer anger. Such an egregious incident…. I also wish, playing Holi in public places should be lawfully banned.

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