Holi celebrations start on the night before Holi with a Holika Dahan where people gather, perform religious rituals in front of the bonfire, and pray that their internal evil be destroyed the way Holika, the sister of the demon king Hiranyakashipu, was killed in the fire. Ruhi, Eira, and Amyra are at peace with their internal evils and have no intention of destroying them any time soon. So they just planned a pre-Holi party before Eira left for her native in the North. No, there wasn’t any booze or bhaang (an intoxicating drink made from cannabis) in the party. Eira is happier when the colors fill her food. She had made zucchini – lettuce salad with olives and shreds of purple cabbage. It was as pleasing to the eyes as to the taste buds.
Ruhi’s excitement and preparations for Holi started well in advance. Due to recent Corona Virus outbreak, her husband and other family members asked her to stay indoors to prevent catching the virus as mass gatherings are most probable way to spread the flu. Holi is equivalent to fun and food, and when the colors are banned by the family, the only way to enjoy is through yummy food. She got up early and started her quest to cook something delicious. Mind you, she spent her last 2 days looking for the perfect recipes for Dahi Vada, Dates chutney and Malpua. She now had a foolproof recipe also validated by her mother. Rehan took the responsibility of the mutton curry. It’s aroma filled the air and reached Amir and he needed no invitation. Amyra tagged along and had her mind blown by the lip-smacking Malpua.
Ruhi is from the latter generation. Holi for her is Abeer, colored water fight, water guns, balloons filled with colored water and other creative measures to make everyone look like a canvas of colors. She somehow was trying to get everyone to play the actual Holi, her kind of Holi.
कहते है अगर किसी चीज को दिल से चाहो तो पूरी कायनात उसे तुमसे मिलाने की कोशिश में लग जाती है.
Suddenly there was a knock on the door and a neighbor came with a pack of colors to wish them Holi. It was like God listened to her wishes. She ran down to the society park dragging everyone else from the building with her too. Amyra played Holi after ages as in her native, girls were restricted from going out due to increasing violence in the disguise of Holi. Amir refrained from playing colors for his religious reasons, but who can stop a crazy crowd. Respecting his wishes, others made him a multicolored curtain by making patterns on his otherwise boring T-shirt.
Eira was blissfully away from the CORONA virus scare at her native playing the real North-wali Holi. Her Holi celebrations were clubbed with the house-warming ceremony of her new home back in her village. The cultural heritage of North India was exemplified by a 24 hour non-stop recitation of the Ram Charit Manas Path that went through the night all the way up to the morning. While Eira chose to stay away from the sweets, for Ishan it was paradise with gujhiya, gulab jamun, laddoo with five-star service accorded to sons-in-law in the North. For Eira and Ishan, it was bonding time with elders and cousins alike. They played colors so liberally that they haven’t yet worn off.
It was a delightful Holi for Ruhi, Amyra and Eira. Although they weren’t together they were still somehow connected. Even white light is colorful if you look through the right prism. Some played with dry colors, some were busy drenching others with water. No forced intrusion, no unwanted attention, it was pure bliss and fun. How did you celebrate Holi? Share the colorful pictures (of you playing or the dishes you prepared) below to celebrate Holi with us.