DesiGirl's Network Home | About Me |

Holi Aayee Re!

Holi. The festival that heralds spring. Living in Chennai, it didn't mean much to me. Life went on pretty much the same as always.

But whenever I think of Holi, I remember the gulmohar trees that dotted the grounds of the apartment block I grew up in. Red, yellow and orange coloured blossoms used to cover the green foliage and from the terraces, it used to look like the trees were on fire! Every spring, the trees would be full of the riotous colours and so will the ground around them. The fallen petals would deck the brown ground so that it looked like a beautiful carpet has been spread all around the area.

But, of course, growing up in India, you do hear and see images of how the rest of the country celebrated this rather rowdy-ish festival. Holi also brought to my mind, images of Amitabh Bachchan singing 'Rang barse', multi-coloured kurtas and general all-round mayhem. I remember wondering why the North Indians always wore white on Holi when they knew well that there would be folks chucking colour at them from all directions.

There were pockets of Madras that used to celebrate the festival. The streets of the Hindi areas of Sowcarpet, Vepery and the surrounding, would be chock-a-bloc with girls and boys of all ages running amok, covered from top to toe in the most lurid colours imaginable. If the day fell on a Sunday, Monday morning these girls would wander into college, still multi-coloured - partly because the colours were real fast and partly because they wanted to show-off.

Those were the times when I wished I lived in one of those 'cool'er cities, where Holi was a definate day in the festival calender, where folks drank bhaang and sang drunken songs and danced in the streets. Alas! That never happened. I was stuck in staid Madras all my life. Now, sitting a gazillion miles away in staid-er England, I am wishing with all my heart that I can play Holi. I could toss colours at folks, folks would toss colour back at me, I would get gloriously drunk on bhaang and sing silly songs and dance in the streets. Oh, clad in whiter than white salwar-kameez, too! I want to wake up the next day with the colour still sticking to my skin.

Maybe I should sign up as an extra for the next Bollywood Holi number!

Posted by DesiGirl 1:42 pm  


  1. apu said...
    hello ! werent you in that gang when we played holi at school and almost got suspended ? I dont remember though why holi was treated like such a crime...
    DesiGirl said...
    nah! must have been pre-IX or after i left :( i thot the suspension thingy was for playing truant during the class XI trip to Ooty!
    MW said...
    Hi DesiGirl,

    I'm doing a quick survey on public libraries in India. Please read my post and leave a comment. Thanks!

    magicrna said...
    Oh...I lived in one such pocket...but I used to hide from all the revellers, because if I came home with my clothes all "coloured", amma would scold:( I was a good girl, i was:P

Post a Comment

Create a Link