Sunday, March 04, 2007

Un-Holi Mess

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.

Holi. Bah!

5 comments:

Ludwig said...

> We could have had the bhang
> and skipped the colour. Good,
> clean fun it could have been.

Oh kindred soul!

SURABHI said...

hey, i remember you looking gorgeous with all the colour. or were you clean and gorgeous and me 'bhang'ed out?
happy holi dear.

Space Bar said...

Ludwig: Truly!

Sur: I love you too. (If you thought I looked gorgeous after playing holi, you must really love me, no?) Btw, 'all' that colour? Isn't it one undifferentiated grey mess by the end of it all?

The Mad Momma said...

oh goodie... a rant post.. can i unload here too...? i hate the way ppl play holi now.. just hooliganism... throwing balloons that actually hurt. got one that almost hit my obviously preggie belly while at the doctor's clinic last week. know a girl who got one balloon in her eye - her contact lense twisted and cut her eye. hate the ppl rubbing colour on your teeth and shoving hands down your blouse for a cheap thrill. and in UP where i grew up.. it was filthy, acid, muck, eggs, anything goes....by the way.. linking up to this post of yours.

Space Bar said...

Oh god, the contact lens thing sounds terrible. Hope the girl's ok. Yes, all these reasons I hate Holi...disgustng, messy festival! feel free to unload about it here anytime!