By the time you read this blog or this blog post reaches you, you would have already played with myriad of colours and enjoyed Holi with your friends and family in full fervour or, must be dealing with the hilarious and tedious aftermath of the celebration!! As in, trying to rinse yourself off colours, marks, stains and what not and not to forget, the content tiredness and fuller tummies after the “H” Day!!!
It was an intentional decision! The decision to write the blog on the very day of Holi. You want to know why ?! Well, i wanted to bring to you all my thoughts and emotions and of-course, all the glimpses of my day, exactly the way this Holi brought to me. I have had a very ebb-tide; love-sulk kind of a relation with this festival. Holi & Me, we have seen our bad days; we have never hated each other but there have been few years in the past where we have not been best of the friends either! So, yes, i wanted to feel where do we stand in each other’s lives this day, and when we come face to face what would it be like!
So, here iam happily tired, bathed and washed, in my bed with a hot cuppa and writing! And yes, you got it right, hell yeah its a good news! Me and Holi are great friends this year and I intend to make it last this, for lifetime.
Indeed, Holi is the greatest festival celebrated all across our Bharat!And with what Love, what enthusiasm and eagerness! Children, youngster and elderlies all wait in all earnestness and prepare in advance for this special day. Whether food, music, decor, dance or laughter, Holi makes us unlock all our darkrooms and fills them with colours and enlightenment. We embrace our selves and others leaving all barriers and bitterness behind in true spirits of our traditions.
And why not!
If I rewind my life and look back, i feel that childhood years were the years when i used to be most keen, excited and happy to celebrate the festival of Holi. In fact, this must be the case in almost everyone’s life. We were naive, innocent, carefree and so spirited back then. The only motive at that time used to be to ‘make the most out of the moment‘; to quench the thirst for sheer fun, total happiness and tons of laughter. I fondly remember that how we used go around our colonies in groups with bucket full of balloons and colours in our “thaila’s” along with sweets and water to drink and whole day, all boys and girls, would gang up and play Holi and would sit under mulberry trees singing and dancing till our eyes literally would shut out of exhaustion and our parents came looking for us. Our holi celebrations would go on for days till atleast our colour and balloon supplies exhausted. Those were the days!
Never once, we felt conscious, vary or insecure of our surroundings or scared of the people around us.
But today i pondered and pondered as to What changed over the years?! Holi still comes every year and is celebrated with same gaitey all over the country and brings showers of colour and happiness in everyone’s life. People forget all hatred, ill-will, malice and forgive and forget and hug it all out!
Like me, many of my girlfriends too became reluctant and sulky over the years and started participating less in the festivity and each one of us every time when asked; had some or the other reason or excuse as to “i hate gulaal“; “im allergic to colours“; “i have sensitive skin or sun rashes” or what not!
Literally, there came a sort of phase in my life when my mind accepted for a fact that “I Hate playing Holi . Period”. But never until recently did i ask myself Why?
Well, actually this self introspection and hunting deep down my soul’s recesses is the result of so many episodes i keep listening to these days. Especially a week ahead of Holi, messages and initiatives like #buramanungiholihai #holikenaampebatmeezinhi #nomeansno ….and gross and shocking news of girls being attacked with semen filled balloons; molestation etc… stirred some cord inside and got me thinking and talking to many of my girl friends, children etc.
Today’s Woman sure knows to voice her heart out and why not its her prerogative, rather anything and everything that bothers our psyche, weighs down our heart, or threatens to take away our rights, should be
VOICED OUT AND HEARD.
Yes, why should on the name of celebrations or under pretext of a festival or anytime in general, we should be harassed, bullied, cajoled or made to feel discomforted. Whether through eyes; lewd remarks; or physical touch or persuasion or, even to tolerate an unfriendly or overfriendly company.
We grew upto a time when we girls even if we felt hurt or witnessed misappropriation or cheap behaviour, we avoided the situation or preferred to keep it all locked up inside us rather than voice it out, let alone stand against it.
Now that we have found our voice and have overcome our own inner dilemmas we reassess our decisions and inner mental blocks . Atleast i did!
Yes, many a times me and millions like me have witnessed, tolerated; or succumbed to ABUSE of any kind, ON THE NAME OF FESTIVITY, especially during Holi as is the nature of the festival that allows people to come near you,sometimes ,out of your comfort zone.
So, much so that i can vouch most of us women have faced abuse in one way or the other, at times like these and acts of groping, molestation attempt or even verbal attacks have left a scar in the minds of many. These unhappy, uncomfortable memories when don’t find a way of expression, they rather become a bitter boulder somewhere deep down inside; a colourless void or a sour wound.
And knowingly or unknowingly, we find reasons to blame, hide or shy away . I feel this is one of the major reasons that incidents like these subconsciously, lead to staying away from such a beautiful, colourful festival of life.
Few such bitter memories did leave some dark impact on my psyche too and rather unknowingly, i started excusing myself from this festival, Up until a few years ago…. hesitantly i made progress with baby steps towards this festivity and started to let go.
Let Go! Well, yes today on this festive day i sit down to write because I Marvel and I SUPPORT and I SALUTE The WOMEN WE HAVE COME TO BE! WE RECLAIM OUR VOICES AND WE STAND UNITED !
But even more so, I INVITE !
I invite mothers, sisters, daughters and friends! I invite you to let go! Let go all that’s locked inside; lift that boulder; open that window of your soul; revisit your scars; your demons and don’t you bury them….. find your way; any which way you choose and Let Go and Heal ! Heal and Celebrate ! Celebrate Holi ,Celebrate Life! Burn the demons in the pious agni altar of Holika dehan and purge yourself off the burden and set yourself free.
Its Time! The Time is Now! This World is a beautiful place and One life is all, we have to celebrate! We can’t wait for this place to be the safest heaven, nothing is nothing can ever be! But We Have The Power, The power to live life; The power to heal ! The power to create a safe and strong Mind, Body and Soul!
I Have allowed myself to heal over the years and i feel this Holi I Have Healed completely! No more dark demons!
I played to my heart’s content; i celebrated with my loved ones; i enjoyed the best possible way i knew; just the way i wanted to, in the comfort of relationships; danced; ate and made merry and of course, clicked tons of pictures and sealed new, happy memories in my life and forever!
Well, a note to the perverted few of the world! Don’t try to take undue advantage of our civility; cause NO CERTAINLY MEANS NO! You want to celebrate, well celebrate with ones willing to reciprocate;on the name of festivity you cannot claim proximities which are well beyond your limits! Don’t think we can’t show you doors!or chains or handcuffs, keep imagining!
And warm hug to the amazing men in my life! Thankyou for being the sunshines of my life, World sure seems a rainbow 🌈 full of promises of a colourful festive life!
Till Next Time ! Holi Hai !!! Rang Barse!! Always in your lives!
Chao! For now!
much love XOXO! Vashi / That PashminaGirl💋