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March 21, 2008 / lazybug

Holi thi err…hai!


There was a time when the festival of Holi came as a welcome break from studies. We* would be preparing for our final exams. With parents and teachers breathing down our respective necks, one chance to get away from them was pure gold. And holi gave us just that. One full day, in fact! We would wake up early and quickly get into old clothes, for the revelers from the neighbourhood would be on to us any time. Half the day would be spent colouring and getting coloured and the remaining trying to take it off. We used such effective tools like Rin Soap, Kerosene and Scrubs. (Want to know the secret of my glowing skin, anybody). That’s right, your regular soap wouldn’t stand a chance even if you applied it ten times over. And then there would be a sort of race…who’ll be the ‘last’ person to lose the colour?

Mom never played with colour. She would hate it when the floors of the house are dirtied by the water-mixed powder. “I’ve got that floor washed just two days back”, she’d yell. God knows what they were made of, but who cared? Especially that silvery colour. That’s the one that required Kerosene.

But colours, of course, are not the only thing you are decorated with on Holi. Eggs and Tomatoes were quite common. And if you were really unlucky, a can of used motor oil sealed your fate. Nice and tight. Even Kerosene was not good enough.

We’d move around in a group. And after every house attacked, the group size would increase. This went on till the last remaining friend was decorated appropriately. Face, hair, ears, arms, legs and so on.
If you wanted to take revenge on one of your friends, this was the chance. Take a rotten egg and smash it on his head. More fun if he’s a vegetarian! He wouldn’t be quite sure who did it because all looked more or less the same.

That was how it used to be.

Times have changed and people have moved on. Some have got married and are too scared of their wives to come out and play. No amount of cursing would help. Some others have moved overseas. But mostly–the saddest of them all–people are just not interested any more. I’d have still played with whatever little group we could gather. But two sad demises have made sure no cries ‘Holi Hai!’ this year in our family. And either due to some extraordinary lapse of concentration on part of our HR manager (or just pure sadism), our office will remain open on Holi this year. bah!

Thankfully, one thing has remained constant over the years on Holi. Dosas! The breakfast on Holi is always Dosa. And mom has kept the batter ready this time too.

Enjoy the festival of colours, rotten tomatoes and egg a and used engine oil. I’ll have to be happy with them Dosas.

Hope you read this post ‘after’ you have played Holi and taken the bath.

Holi hai!

*I was born and brought up in a joint family. 8 of us were kids belonging to a similar age group. All our friends in the neighbourhood and cousins who lived near by were not too old either. When we all got together, it’d be around 20 of us.

Image courtesy: Narasimhan



Leave a Comment
  1. Ottayan / Mar 22 2008 12:26 am

    Holi and Dosa, this is the first time I am hearing it.

    Is it because you live in Hyderabad or is it the way it is normally celeberated?( I mean the Dosa on Holi combination)

  2. Liju Philip / Mar 22 2008 1:14 am

    Holi mubarak ho Akhil bhai.

    We used coconut husk as the scrub to remove some of the hard stains from the body. Natural and effective you see 😉

    The silver one was ‘suner’. We once applied it to bald head of a friend. In the hot sun, his head was shining like sun itself …hahaha

    Once we smashed some eggs on a brahmin girl’s head and after a lot of crying and shower, she came out and thanked us cos her hair felt smooth and silky 😀

    Btw, never understood the dosa connection with holi. Hmmm….

  3. lazybug / Mar 22 2008 4:50 am

    It’s a family thing, Ottayan and Liju. 😀

  4. Chittaranjan / Mar 23 2008 7:49 am

    Ahh….those were the days…. Silver color, Varnish, grease, lamp-black, eggs, tomatoes…….it was always more fun to ‘apply’ those than to ‘be applied’ with them 😀

    We also used what is called ‘sogodo kala’ (meaning the grease from the bullock cart wheels/axle) and which was damn hard to get rid of! 😛

    Sadly, the past few years have been relatively colorless…..kinda like Jaya B in Sholay 😐

  5. Santhosh / Mar 23 2008 6:39 pm

    I like seeing people with colour on their faces on Holi. They look so different.

  6. Prasanthi / Mar 25 2008 6:30 am

    Holi is one of the different festivals we have… It is a very colourful festival. Irrespective of age groups, every one play with colours like kids. Coming to me, I love painting colours to someone else but I don’t like someone putting colours on me. 😉

  7. Ambika / Mar 2 2009 12:47 pm

    I love the Festival too..& hate it when the colour goes off.. 😦

    Btw, its Holi Hai again!! Yayy!! 😀

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