Wow! Is it Holi already?
There was a time when I couldn’t wait to celebrate this festival and now I don’t even know when Holi is until a Google search confirms it. When did that happen? Being born and brought up in Delhi, where Holi is a huge deal, I should at least know the date of the festival right? I am ashamed of myself. But it is not all my fault. You see I did a lot of growing up in the last 20-25 years and now I know that the once innocent color play has transformed into something rather unpleasant.
Yes! I am talking about the most absurd news item doing rounds these days and it is not about the depth of “the bathtub of death”. A water balloon full of semen was flung at a female student in New Delhi this week. And I am flabbergasted! How do people come up with such imaginative ways to act out sexual perversion? How do they find time to do these depraved deeds? I have read about feces flinging by the apes, who would fling fecal matter at you if you upset them, but this has crossed the threshold of new lows for all primates and human race, don’t you think? First of all, this girl did not upset the guy in any way, as far as I know, she was just travelling in a rickshaw to her college when the incident happened. Second of all, even if she got him upset, I don’t think it warranted the semen-flinging and third of all, it seems that semen-flinging under the ruse of Holi is the new “fad” in Delhi! Wow! Even apes have more sense than humans and before this very moment I used to think that we have evolved from our feces flinging days.
While growing up our Holi holidays would start a week prior to the actual festival. The random coloring incidents at school or at the neighborhood park, the water-balloon fights, the purposefully “accidental” water fights with the water guns, and the sweets… Gawd! The sweets! Ghujiyas, Gulab Jamuns, Barfis and Jalebis (I think I know why I was overweight as a child!) There was just so much to do (and eat)! I still remember my mom and dad would fill up buckets with water-balloon reinforcements the night before Holi so that me and my sister didn’t have to back off during an intense water-balloon fight. But the innocent play of blissful childhood ignorance, soon turned into scary forced play of adolescence and adulthood. The soft natural gulaal color powders were replaced with damaging adulterated colors of silver, black and gold, sometimes even grease was rubbed in alongwith mud. Eggs and rotten tomatoes were thrown with vengeance from the rooftops instead of the water balloons. And then when my skin burned after being rubbed with a silver colored powder, I said No More and stopped going out to play Holi, because you go out on Holi at your own risk. If someone or something untoward happens, you are not allowed to complain. And that’s because of the unspoken rule “Bura na maano, Holi hai!” (“Don’t be upset, its only Holi!”) which basically means “anything goes” and if you do complain you will be stigmatized as a prude, uptight or worse a feminazi.
I keep wondering, where and when we lost our innocence and conscience? When did this festival become a pretext for misbehavior and hooliganism. Once, someone I knew threw a water balloon into the window of a moving bus and it hit the eye of a passenger, and burst open a blood vessel, he had to be rushed to the hospital. Thankfully, he didn’t lose his eyesight. So, you see this is not just a Women’s issue. People are becoming rowdy and unruly by using the mantra “Bura na maano Holi hai!” and letting their inner animals out. I am sorry but even animals don’t attack each other for no apparent reason.
So this Holi, let us not fling semen or other bodily fluids on each other unprovoked or otherwise. Let us please respect our ancestors and learn a lesson from the book of primates and realize that we have come a long way from our days of knuckle-walking in the nude and thumping our chests. Because let’s face it, its not that fun anymore! 😉
Have a safe and Happy Holi everyone!