Another “Holi” Day

Almost three years since I decided that I will be regular with blog updates. So here I am. Are you wondering why am I writing after such a long time? Perhaps not. People don’t even remember that this blog exists.

It’s my day off from work. Not the one that I am particularly enjoying. Who would? With a mask on and around 120 mg of fexofenadine on its way down their oesophagus desperately trying to block  H1 receptors.

Now the real motive. I have nothing to do. (Uh oh.  Shouldn’t have said that. My mind is ready for the “to-do” list. Puhleez. Not now!) No more episodes of Sherlock or Sheldon to watch. My books haven’t been unpacked since the day we moved into this house. Painting is out of the question as the fumes of paint would be too much for my hypersensitive olfactory system. Sketching? Naah! I prefer sneezing all over my laptop than my precious sketchbook.

Last few days have been pretty boring. In spite of the fact that three days back the entire country was screaming  ” Bura na mano Holi hai” while I was locked up in my room. No. I am not scared of playing Holi. Never was. It’s my favourite festival. And I don’t even get to play. Thank you allergic rhinitis.  Why can’t you find someone who doesn’t like playing Holi, they would be glad to have you.

~~~~~ The “Holi” Day ~~~~~

My mum starts off with her usual instructions. Oil your hair and apply some lotion and why haven’t you changed.  I give her an exasperated look. Why does it matter, I am not playing Holi. She realizes the wrong question then immediately hands me a few of the delicacies that she has prepared. Mothers are like that. They know how food can be a substitute for happiness. I am standing on the balcony watching the neighbourhood play Holi. If that’s what you call playing Holi. Girls screaming as if worms have been sprinkled on them instead of colours. And the boys are no braver. I just sit there with a bored expression. My dad enters. Hands me another plate. Why is everybody pampering me like this? He looks down the street and says “You could teach them a few tricks.” I can’t help but smile.

~~~~~Few years back~~~~~

Me and my kid brother to the shopkeeper. “Uncle… Ye pakka colour hai na?” he replies in the affirmative. We order all the available colours, the mandatory black and silver paints and around 100 balloons. We don’t bother much about the gulaal, that’s for elders. Two fancy pichkaaris and we are back home. Mum has already started with her preparations. I can smell something super delicious. But we need to get on with our preparation. We start off with making different coloured concoctions (secret ingredients) ranging from pretty bright to obnoxious filthy. All the balloons need to be filled up with these coloured waters. For our dear cousins, we have lined up buckets of fragrant coloured water on the terrace. The unexpected showers. (The best time would be when they are sitting in the garden gobbling up all the delicious stuff mum made)

Oh, I was forgetting the tricks.
Well… Pichkaaris are only for Round 1: The warm-up session. Only kids play with them all day long. Then you start off with balloons. And don’t be afraid of the rival team hurling balloons at you, their aim ain’t as good as their expression. Use the opportunity to sneak up on them and rub the filthiest and darkest concoction on their faces. Told you, gulaal is for elders. Also, don’t forget to remind them to brush their teeth properly.
Out of balloons and pichkaari doesn’t work? No worries. Get a bucket full of water or rush to any water source in the vicinity. Grab a few mugs and fill them half. Then hurl it with all your might. No silly, not the mugs, just the water. Your rivals will take a while to recover.

~~~~~Back again~~~~~

I wasn’t going to tell you all the secrets. Who knows I might play next year.

The little Kishan seems super excited about water balloons that banna bought for him. He is running around the terrace hurling them up in the air and watch them fall splattering the ground with colour. As soon as that happens he claps his hands and starts dancing. I can’t stop laughing at his antics.

The day is finally over but not before I have endured through calls and texts of friends “How was your Holi?” The doorbell rings. It’s my brother. He had gone out to a friend’s place. He is not allergic but he wasn’t in a mood to play Holi. And what do I see? Colour smeared all over him. “You played Holi? You said you were NOT going to play.” He gives me a surprised look that says what the hell is wrong with you. I want to punch him but the elder sibling emotion gets the better of me.

Next year perhaps.

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