Friday, March 09, 2012


I am prepped in really old clothes and have oiled my hair and tied it tightly into a bun. I knock on my neighbors doors and gather everyone on the ground floor of our building. We bring buckets and fill them with water.  We are excited and unusually loud. Well, actually we can hear ourselves talk because there seems to be barely any traffic on the streets. All you can hear is the sound of hurried flip flops and squeals of delight. The day is undoubtedly Holi - the festival of colors.

My dad will not leave the house that day and I for one will not stay indoor for a moment. All us kids in our building are downstairs mixing color, preparing the water balloons and talking strategy. Whoever crosses our path is going to be smeared in a concoction of color that will render him/her unrecognizable. In the mean time we are pretty much unrecognizable ourselves. You see, we haven't wasted much time playing between ourselves. Kids from neighboring buildings have joined us and its a big party on the streets.

The day has progressed, we've smeared color on people we've never met and will never see in our lives again. The sun is out in full force and we are almost baked in a way it seems like the color will never leave our skin. Our eyes are look so bright compared to our black painted bodies. We see our parents walk out to the balconies trying to keep an eye on us. I'm however waiting for the best part of it all.

No sooner than I'm thinking of it I hear Babun da's motorcycle. Without losing a second I hop on it and off we go whizzing past Dhakuria bridge, Golpark and Gariahat to Ballygunge where we get the best "Bhang". Going for a bike ride the day of holi is a pleasure in itself. The roads being empty, you can actually feel the wind. We load up bottles and bhang infused "shondesh" and bring the loot back to the happening place in Jodhpur park - the sidewalk of the Sen residence where we end being merry and entertain the pedestrians with our beautiful vocals.

We've been out for hours now and it is time I head home. I promise the rickshaw puller I will pay him a few extra rupees to take me there. Instead of going to my flat in Jodhpur Park, I find myself in a place far far away. I want him to turn back and start pedaling faster to take me back home, but he can't hear me anymore. He has disappeared into this colorful mosaic and all I'm surrounded with is memories.


sukalpa said...

hey do u remember the holi b4 ur marriage?????:)

sukalpa said...

hi do u remember the holi before ur marriage

Mala said...

oh yes - Sumana mentions that too on FB! Good times...