Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bura na mano…holi hai!

Holi – The celebration of joy and colors has been one of my favorite festivals since childhood. I love the glow of gulal, the mess of the pakka rang, the splashing of pani ke gubbare, the water spouting from the pichkaris, the outrageously risqué lyrics of rang barse, the scrumptious taste of gujiyas, the fun and gossip around the presence and absence of bhang

Till 2006, I do not remember having not painted the town red on a single instance of holi. As kids, the customary pichkari (my fav being a tank one that could be carried around as a rucksack – amazing storage capacity!) along with the usual dose of the good color (gulal etc), the real bad color (the chemical dyes etc that wouldn’t rub off for days together) and a huge stock of balloons was a must, irrespective of what the health conscious said about hazardous effects of colors and blah and blah!

A typical day would start with all the kids and cooperating adults filling balloons, followed by a reluctant breakfast of puri-aloo with kheer forced down by mom and a simultaneous word of caution from dad to remain “within limits” (that has been his trademark forewarning for anything and everything, since as long as I can remember, and that in itself could be a whole new blog, but I digress). After the almost ritualistic morning feast, we’d wear our old clothes, rub oil on our bodies and hair (to protect hair and skin from damage as much as possible), and then begin the mayhem. We always celebrate holi with the family first, so mom, dad, Priyank and I would mess each other up completely before proceeding with the neighborhood toli.

I most fondly recall my years in Noida as the best holi galas I have ever had. With a tinge of nostalgia, I remember the bonfire on the eve of holi, the craziness of dancing amidst the riot of colors and water to songs from all periods in Indian Cinema - the black and white numbers to the latest ones in technicolor, the feasting without fasting, and the endless laughter and merry making!

After the afternoon’s pandemonium, I used to spend hours scouring the color off using all the options available – mom’s indigenous preparation of ubtan to the latest scrubs and crèmes available in the cosmetic conglomerate – to make myself presentable for school/work the next day. Evenings were marked by the characteristic laziness and siesta of post-holi blues...

This is the third year that I am sorely missing not celebrating holi - 2007 holi was spent in Bangkok, 2008 in LA. This year, though closer to home (@ Chennai), I am ridden by the practical difficulties of Holi being on a week day, no holiday, inability to travel to Delhi cos of work commitments…I am hoping the next year or the one after that I am fortunate enough to relive or atleast recreate the proverbial ‘good old days’!

Till then, I console myself by listening to and humming my personal holi play list; given here just in case somebody is interested.
  1. Rang Barse…bheege chunar waali…rang barse (this evergreen Amitabh-Rekha number from Silsila undoubtedly is my holi anthem)
  2. Arre jaa re hat natkhat, na chhoo re mera ghoonghat , palat ke doongi aaj aisi gali re…(the rapturous melody by Rafi and Lata; Movie – Navrang)
  3. Holi khele raghubeera awadh mein…holi khele raghubeera (the more recent Amitabh number from Baghban)
  4. Aaj na chodenge bas humjoli… khelenge hum holi (The mischievous hit from Rajesh Khanna’s Kati Patang)
  5. Ang se ang lagaana…sajan humein aise rang lagaana (a raunchy song from the Sunny Deol-SRK-Juhi Chawla starrer Darr)
  6. Holi ke din dil khil jaate hain...rangon mein rang mil jaate hain (from Sholay…Big B has a lot of holi songs to his credit)
  7. Holi re holi…aayi tere ghar pe maston ki toli (Movie – Paraaya Dhan)
  8. More kaanhaa jo aaye palat ke…abke holi main khelungi dat ke (a semi classical number from Sardari Begum)
  9. Holi aayee, holi aayee, dekho holi aayee re (thus Kishore Kumar sang in Mashaal)
  10. And finally…Jai Jai Shiv Shankar (again a Rajesh Khanna number from Aap ki Kasam…strictly speaking not a holi specific number but nevertheless apt for the occasion)
Wishing everybody a very happy and colorful Holi!

1 comment:

  1. hey yuvi..ur multilateral n vivid depiction of holi has managed to whirl up a nostalgia for a liberating festival dat sure had u ,me n d horde of young n old alike going ecstatic wid a gay abandon!!


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