Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Holi-er than thou


Slippery stats, eh? Not as slippery as I was planning to be this Holi. Alas, it's back to the boonies after three long years, where the family awaits with open arms and an open-er bar, and bucketfuls of colour and melodrama. Tradition has it that to make a right honourable splash on Holi, all members must be truly sloshed! So, here I am, setting sail for yet another dip in the holy (vodka and tonic) water.

I guess I'll have more than my fair share this year. The fact is: I'm suddenly petrified of Holi. Yes, its the same me, who used to give the local pests a run for their pichkaris. I simply loved the darn festival! Come to think of it, what's not to love?

You wake up (sometimes with obscene drawings on your face, if you're familiar with boarding school rules), oil yourself up like the reigning champion of the akhara, check the ammo, attack first, at random, and make sure that the first strike leaves enough for the others to retaliate (poor strategy, but it's Holi dammit! How would you feel if no one threw anything at you?), then you run around like a headless chicken for the next few hours, blindly ducking missiles you can't see, briefly stopping to re-hydrate with some chilled beer and re-energise with sweet squiggly gujiyas (clean ones; we're bhang-averse, for some strange reason, the origins of which are rather hazy now), till you stumble into the shower in an exhaustion-cum-liquor induced daze, only to scrub and clean furiously/half-heartedly (depending on your state of inebriation), till your heavily-depleted sobriety helps you to stagger into a clean bed that's sure to later bear the scars of many an unholy ambush, as retaining traces of these are gonna help you stagger back to office the next morning, armed with tall battle tales of a wet'n'wild one...

Which would probably help to distinguish you from the pseudo-types, who ever-so-gently-profess: " Oh, Gawd! I just can't stand Holi... I'm allergic, you know... it's so rowdy and pointless... Diwali is so much more civilised... only organic, homemade gulaal for my little ones this year... we had a few people come over this year for a quiet lunch at our farmhouse... the city's maddening, with all those people running around drunk and uff, those loudspeakers with the rang barse crap... it's so scary and stressful... and people just don't leave you alone! Don't they know all that colour can make you go blind with cancer?? "

Phew! Just thinking about all of the above makes me feel old. Because I can't believe what a rowdy I once was, and equally can't believe the dowdy I'm turning into.

Holi cow! It's almost time for the office party in the "backside" parking lot. Now where's that excuse I was looking for??

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