Today on 18th March, all over the country and the world, where Indians, particularly the Hindus are settled, the joyous festival of Holi has been celebrated with renewed enthusiasm. After two years of continuous on and off lockdown, people everywhere without fear played with their folks applying Gulaal and splashing (though limited) colored water.
Within India, the tradition of celebrating Holi differs from region to region. The best one can be seen in Mathura, where the five days long festivities go on. One day, just flower petals are used to play with.
The other famous revelry happens in Bundelkhand, where ‘Latthmaar Holi’ is played that involves women beating the shields held by men for fun.
Talking about myself, my memories of this festival have been as colorful as the various hues of the colors themselves. From childhood to my current time, I have witnessed a lot many changes.
The earliest remembrance was when I was just three and a half years old. My parents took me to our ancestral village home for the Holi celebration. I very well recall that my aunts had warmed up a tub of water for me to play with so that I wouldn’t catch a cold.
Those days in the village, everybody used to play Holi by using Teshu ke Phool. The orangish flowers, of Teshu or Palash or commonly known as the Flame Tree, are plucked and dried first. And then ground in the powdered form, before using it to play during Holi.
As I started growing up I enjoyed this colorful festival. The fun and revelry were always looked forward to. The best thing about it was that you can wear your casuals or even older clothes to go out to a gathering of people for the festivity.
Frankly during my teenage years, more than applying dry colors I used to love dabbling with wet colors and smearing the faces of my friends and neighbors out of zest. It was so much fun, as we would keep telling each other, “Buraa na maano Holi hai” (please don’t mind it’s Holi).
During my youth, after every two to three years, I stayed in different towns and localities. So, the best memories are during my stay in a hostel, when I was in college. I got the opportunity to interact with girls from across the nation in the hostel.
Of course, being hostel mates we were not allowed to go out on Holi, so we girls used to celebrate on the terrace of the hostel building. We thoroughly enjoyed playing with dry and wet colors, eating snacks, and dancing to the blaring music played in a tape recorder in those days.
A couple of years later, post my marriage I shifted to another city. Now for the first time, celebrating Holi was an altogether different matter. I enjoyed this phase too.
Before marriage, I used to be carefree, without minding much about what to cook during the festivities. But not anymore, still, under the supervision of my mother-in-law I used to make some special sweet and savory delicacies, along with her.
All my life, only one thing during Holi remained constant, and that is relishing the sweet and savory dishes, commonly made during this occasion. Like the sweet ghujias and the savory dahi vada, apart from the other items.
Lastly, all I can say is that the festival of Holi is celebrated by us to put an end to the negativity by lighting the pyre for Holika Dahan an evening before. And embrace the positivity by exchanging heartfelt Holi greetings and playing with the vibrant colors the next day. And fill the lives of our loved ones and everyone around us with abundant happiness, by sharing fun, food, and laughter.
WISHING YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY HOLI ðŸ’œðŸ§¡ðŸ’™ðŸ’šâ¤