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Monday, 24 March 2008

I don’t play Holi anymore.

Not that I don’t like this festival, (Actually I do) but the mess that follows later (cleaning the house and the bathrooms) is unnecessary waste of time. Early morning I heard the laughter of kids who were playing with color in the building compound. There were sounds of children running, shouting, and giggling. After saying a short morning prayers, I went to my bedroom balcony to watch the children play. Happily they sprinkled colors on faces of their friends, red, blue, green and the festival had arrived with vibrant hues and the celebration of life was here again. Hoil, the festival of colors, mischief, pranks, a day when you get away with any practical jokes and yet dance to a loud music. Holi is a festival of universal brotherhood and happiness. The bonfires that are lit on the eve of Holi are in reminder of the value of true faith in God. Many years ago, we would lit the fire in the lane and all the neighbors would come with coconut, sweets and water, and we would walk three times around the bonfire, break the coconut, sprinkle water and red color powder and then we would play games like antakshri or dumbsheras till late nights. This year I went with my sister to the corner of the street and watched while my sister went closer to the fire to pray. Didn’t want to risk walking around the bonfires, was afraid that I might slip on the wet ground and harm myself. Many years ago, we looked forward to these festivals and took part in all the festivities. We were young then, our vocal chord had higher decibels. We knew all the bollywood numbers and a great stamina to keep awake all night with friends and sing and laugh. Now, Holi is a day to celebrate with family, enjoying lunch, chat and play a game of cards with family and friends. I like to watch children play Hoil, like to watch youngster dance to the loud music and do rain dance, I enjoy this festival, but now I watch it from a distance. Not that I have become old, it is just that now my priorities have changed.

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