I remember how my day would start with washing the face well ,donning old clothes and then liberally putting oil all over the body and oiling my long hair .Oil helps in protecting the skin from harsh colours and also does not allow the colours to get deep into the skin hence reducing chances of reactions.It would be far more easier to scrub the colour off later if the skin and hair are well oiled .I would then tie up my hair in a long plait or bun and then stock up on water balloons and buckets of coloured water ,our ammunition for the day !
Even passers by and strangers would not be shown any mercy on Holi .
Then as we grew up into young girls ,we started hiding inside our houses on that day because someone could try and grope you on the pretext of Holi and run away saying ,”Bura na mano Holi hai (Don’t mind because it is Holi)!”
Later,marriage, kids and work sapped away all the energy that we mustered so effortlessly in our childhood days and no amount of the splashings of the cold colours could bring out the lost joy to surface again.
Holi was no more looked forward to .The enthusiasm had ebbed off .
Few days back ,I came across this beautiful piece of poetry that I have shared above .
and I resolved that I will not let myself die slowly, little by little …
( Thank you, Pablo Neruda !)
So this year I will unleash the child within .Of course,it will be herbal colours (to conserve water and avoid causing any undue harm to anybody ),but this year I will shout the battle cry and become a child … with my children , I will squeal with delight and whoop with joy when smearing colour on the face of my shy spouse or my next door neighbour .I will hug my friends and bask in that warmth .
So bring it on !
Because this year … I want to feel alive … again !