I hate Holi.
What's fun about having people shove colour into your nose and eyes and hair, and you sneezing out the colour back at them (well, ok, that might be fun to watch if someone else was doing the sneezing)?
Or about wanting to wipe your streaming eyes and finding that your hands, like Lady Macbeth's are forever stained and all the perfumes of Arabia can do to help matters is precisely diddly-squat?
What's fun about getting desperately hungry and having to pick up gujjias and samosas with blue (or green, or pink, or some indeterminate, ugly grey) fingers, all the while imagining the food staining your oesophagus as it goes down? I mean, if I must have dyes injected into my bloodstream, I'd rather go to hospital and do it with proper gloom and despair.
I hate getting into cars all wet, or onto newpapers that might protect the seats of cars, but make a further mess of your clothes. I hate clothes drying out stiff in the sun, I hate shivering in the cold, I hate the smell of gulal though I loathe the metallic ones with greater intensity.
And guys who think it's hysterically funny to wipe your mouth with a handful of purple colour. (Anyone who yearns for the romance of the beloved's rang hasn't played Holi anywhere recently.)
In college, my roommate - who thankfully hated Holi as much as I did - and I used to lock ourselves up in our room and grimly try to get on with our reading, while everyone else shrieked and squealed downstairs. When we came down for lunch, right at the last minute, we used to be the only ones with clean, unstained ears. We each of us felt pleasantly superior: S and I for having the good sense to avoid such unruly behaviour, and everyone else for looking cool and pink.
The only Holi I liked was at the Institute, and that's because of the bhang. It was fun to watch other people make idiots of themselves, with even less self-consciousness than usual. Some of it was a real treat: one guy went into mime mode and for half and hour kept everyone spellbound while he did a Charlie Chaplin meets Buster Keaton kind of dead-pan series of pratfalls. Another one went on a death trip and though it cannot have been fun for him, it was interesting to watch.
But why one earth did we need all those gross colours for this? We could have had the bhang and skipped the colour. Good, clean fun it could have been.