Happy Holi

9:38 AM

Before I go any further, I wish you all a Happy Holi. For those who don't know about it, this is a festival celebrated in India to welcome Spring (thou it feels more like Summer in some part of the country). People throw coloured powder at each other, and often coloured water as well. It is a merry festival enjoyed by all.

In Mumbai more than it was the case in Bangalore, it is also a very commercial affair. Water guns, giant squirt syringe and gulal powder are put on sale over a week in advance. Many kids play all week with their guns and water balloons and all stores are well stocked with cheap plastic water squirt toys embellished with cartoon characters of all sort.

This is Ishita's choice this year :

Because nothing say Happy Holi better than a syringe sporting Subway Surfers characters. Though for her defence, she picked it up because the handle was pink. What stroke me as hilarious this morning was that "Holi Hai" (It's Holi in Hindi) is not cool enough, now it is "Holi Hey" and because just having splashes of colours everywhere is clearly un-holiesque, let's make sure to englobes every other festivals in the fun : A birthday cake, Christmas tree baubles, Halloween Pumpkins and Valentine's Day heart shaped balloon.

Pick your Holi symbol people. I call dibs on the pink gulal while you guys deliberate on that matter.


  1. Anonymous6:45 PM

    Giant squirt syringe. I thought what has a syringe got to do with holi. Then it hit me it's the humble pichkari. I thought that may be it's is something sophisticated which I have not heard off lol.

    About symbols for holi more than the Gulal is very sophisticated and indeed holi was originally played with natural Gulal. The madness of holi is represented by those fearsome dark powdery colours. Unless u see purple, dark and silvery faces, it does not feel like holi. Elders play with Gulal and young ones with dark colours. I personally never had problems with colours. Now that I am somewhat of an elder myself I had to switch over to Gulal and act all mature.

    I saw a news report that in varanasi city there is a tradition of playing holi with ashes from funeral pyres as Lord shiva used to smear his body with ashes. Holi in a cremation ground sounds strange. In vrindavan holi is about radha and krishna with flowers and colours while in varanashi it is about the inevitable fate of human existence. Same festival but profoundly different traditions.


    1. These organic and herbal powders are making a come back, I had to buy herbal gulal for Ishita to take to school, and they are easy to find in Mumbai. Most people buy non toxic easy to wash off dye in Mumbai. A pleasant change from these Holi parties where the dye would stay on your skin for days :-)

      I don't think I could throw ashes from dead ones for Holi, that seem a bit to disrespectful to the human being that once was.

    2. Anonymous9:20 PM

      The ashes represent the temporary nature of life. As they say "ashes to Ashes and dust to dust". Lord shiva the god of destruction smeared himself with ashes to suggest that one should not be afraid of death as it just a new beginning rather it should be embraced. Thus a holi with ashes represents the recognition of the temporary nature of human life but the permanence of the soul. At least that is how they explained it. Little difficult to comprehend but I guess that is how spiritual practices are.


    3. Ashes are one thing I guess, but playing with the ashes that could have been a person who've been cherishes and loved by families and friends seems to be a bit disrespectful to said families and friends. Quite an odd concept.


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