Though I have never set foot on a foreign soil, I am pretty confident that India is one of the very few countries where every festival has several mythologies and rituals associated with it. Holi qualifies to be one of them. Apart from the mythological significance of the festival (click here, if at all you want to take pains in knowing about it), Holi brings forth an opportunity for people to let go of all the differences and grudges held against each other, and sow the seeds of a fresh start (not that easy ehh!! :D). It also depicts the victory of good over evil. Keeping all this aside, ask any (Indian)kid even from 1st grade: ‘What is holi?’, and you’ll hear, ‘the festival of colors‘– that’s what it has now evolved to be known.
During my early school days (maybe in 1st-2nd grade), when my teachers used to announce that we’ll have a ‘holiday’ this Diwali, I used to think, “How can anyone celebrate ‘holi‘ in Diwali?” I’m not kidding. It’s true. I really used to ask this question ……………………………. ……………………………………………………. Okay people! Now stop forming judgments about me. It was ages ago. 😀
Updating my knowledge base since then, what I know about holi is that people offer prayers and praises during the ‘Holi Dahan’- a bonfire kindled on a full moon night- a ritual deriving its base from the mythological events. It is beyond my pea-sized knowledge about Hinduism to accept the fact that people ‘worship’ the fire of Holi, despite it representing the burning of Holika, the demoness. I have sought answers from many, but never have I got a satisfactory answer.
The important part of Holi, celebrated on the day following the night of Holi Dahan, is Dhuleti, which is in fact the festival of colors. This year too, following the suit of my parents and neighbors, I offered my prayers at Holi Dahan. I was not anticipating anything new on Dhuleti this year other than the usual flock of people coming to my home to drench me in colors of God-Knows-What material (last year it was Ujala– a fabric whitening chemical, and Camlin black/blue liquid ink the previous year). Want to have glimpse of how we play Dhuleti?
OK! OK! I see your amazement. Firstly, just to clarify, the people you see above belong from well-to-do families, and every individual is a college-graduate. There goes your wild thoughts for a toss. HA! HAH! 😀 This is a common sight one would witness during holi while in India, but it depends in which city or area you are in. For Dhuleti, few people (like my friends) enjoy using poster colors, permanent paints, mud-mixed-water, and hhhmmm…. chuck it- this much info is more than enough.
On a serious note, in the spirit of Holi, I seek forgiveness from all those people whom I’ve hurt intentionally or unintentionally. I had read somewhere (can’t actually recollect where) that it is better to judge a person on the basis of his behavior (since the time you know him), and the benevolent things he did to you, and not on his momentary display of anger or negative comments. Gautam Buddha said, “The sharpest sword is a word spoken in wrath.” It is, hence, foolish to take words for the face value when they are delivered in anger. Being judgmental is good but to remain equally rigid is a recipe of poor relationship with others. Hope you are forgiven by all and forgive others as well.**
** to be continued under Random Rang – II, on some later date. Thanks for visiting. 🙂