And then there was the holi of my childhood which people of a certain vintage will remember.

We played with a simple white pichkari. Bath buckets were surrendered for the morning to be filled with 3 or 4 colours (depending on the number of buckets we had) of red, purple, green and yellow, and everytime we filled it, the pichkari assumed a different hue.

We were given our oldest clothes which were tucked into the corner of a godrej almirah for precisely this purpose and occasion. All the children in the building gathered early in the morning and the squeals of laughter, hoots of joy and the squelch of the water sprayed from the pichkaris were the only music that were needed.

The air was rendered with this abandoned frolic and unbridled innocence. After a couple of hours the buckets which had been replenished several times were empty and taken back to their rightful place in the bathroom and our last pleas for just 5 minutes more were brushed aside with the firm yet soft hands of our mothers pushing us to the aforesaid bathroom, to wash away our cold happy selves with warm water. We watched the colour leave our hands and drain away- the red, the green, the yellow and the purple. Till the next year.

We sat scrubbed with the laughter still inside of us to a freshly cooked meal of warm fluffy puranpolis drizzled with home made ghee… no blaring bollywood songs, no water from hosepipes, no colour that refused to go away. Just a simple celebration of colour, joy and friendship.



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