Sunday, March 04, 2007

Festivals of Colors.

Festivals means joy and celebrations but what about a festival 'full of colors', Holi. In India, especially north India this festival is celebrated with more energy and enthusiasm. In Maharashtra and Gujarat, there are mock-dramas of Krishna trying to break the pots and steal the butter. Hundreds of songs have been screened on this theme in Bollywood. In Eastern part of India like Bengal and Orissa, Holi is called Dol Yatra (the Swing Festival) in which idols of Krishna and Radha are placed on swings and devotees take turns to swing them. In South India, Holi is called Kamavilas, Kaman Pandugai and Kaman-dahanam. The legend prevalent in South India is that of Kamdev, the Love God (the Hindu equivalent of Cupid), who moves through the woods in the season of Spring, aiming his passion tipped arrows that pierce the heart at all who cross his path, from his bow made of sweet sugarcane strung with humming bees.

Picking and smacking artificial colors from roadside vendors or Holi parties by drinking bhang, Thandai and eating lots of Holi special sweets just on the name of 'Bura na mano holi hain' which means don’t mind its Holi, is the way Holi is celebrated.

But slowly this all this is getting diluted. The media constantly needs something new to write about. The advertiser needs an occasion to sell. What better occasion for the two to get together to give us "Holi Bonanzas", "Holi Discounts and special offers", "Holi Contests", Holi anything and everything. Holi cards are becoming increasingly popular. And it's all in the marketing.

Today morning I got my customary weekend long-hour call from my elder brother in US. He was telling me about his plans of celebrating Holi along with his friends, my relatives and cousins out there in Chicago. He asked me about my plans for the day, and that’s when my mind just went blank. The reason is this.

I opened my cupboard where all my clothes are stacked and scanned through all my T-shirts and then sat motionless, numb like a piece of log. I searched my mobile and was able to trace the number and called, "Uggi’s" maa who treats me like his own son. A simple call to her is like a reassuring hug of warmth and of an invisible power, which I can’t put my words into but I do feel it definitely. How idiotic of me that I didn’t speak to her for long and I feel bad about that today.

Anyways, wish you all a very Happy and Colorful Holi. I sincerely wish that this festival brings in your life, goodwill and vibrancy, which is what the true spirit of Holi is.

Keep reading and remain connected.

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