No, this is not a rant or I am not doing this post coming under peer pressure! Neither did I post my Holi picture for the sake of it – it made my mom happy, seeing her picture on an international social platform, the likes coming in – today happens to be her birthday as well! Happy Birthday Mom! 😀
So yeah, taught my child some Earth ethics & fulfill my mom’s wish of being on Instagram! 🙂
Coming back to the topic, though it might sound as sensational it can be…. that is what I am!
#NoHoli and #DontCare what others think!
I don’t play/celebrate Holi – have just played “proper” Holi (as per societal norms) just once in my life, 10 years back that too!
I am someone born and brought up in Chennai and have worked primarily in
Hyderabad & Bangalore where during my school/college/early work life – Holi is not a
predominant festival and is just another day/holiday (rather not even a holiday). These South Indian metros and other cities have upgraded themselves to jazzy Holi parties in lounges and farmhouses now – as they got cosmopolitan though!
Anyone who has lived in Chennai & Hyderabad for good amount of time, knows the water woe people undergo every summer here! And just before peak summer, we waste gallons of water every year in playing Holi and cleaning up the mess after.
Married into a North Indian household didn’t help much either – I could never make it for Holi at my in-laws place somehow!
So I never really got
this nerve (I still don’t!) to play whacky holi with all possible colors and
pichkaris (holi water guns) or grooving to music on a high!
It doesn’t end here – I don’t like wasting water like there’s no tomorrow in
the name of Holi!
We are talking about rivers drying up, one state not offering water to another state, water and ocean conservation, water pollution by factories, ground water levels going down on one side, and here is this national level water misuse in the name of Holi on the other side!
Nor can I come to terms with touching someone, applying color on their face, hair or hands with – be it my neighbors or acquaintances! Just doesn’t get down well with me.. let alone spray water on them like crazy.
I let my footloose where required and keep my conservative attitude still tight to my heart – that is what I am. There is something about this festival that doesn’t go down well with me at all and shall never!
The colors are loaded with chemicals that are not skin-friendly, pet-friendly and kid-safe. People waste water and get the whole pool dirty and walls stained – just cannot come to terms with that! No, I do not have OCD!
Not to forget the unfit for use stained clothes and skin. Having to turn around in office the next day with funny stained faces is a nightmare for me! I draw more confidence when I look my best! I would rather avoid playing Holi to show off everyone how big my Holi celebration was with my stained face and arms, than having staring faces at me making me go a little less confident!
We all can say and argue there are a lot of skin-safe natural colors in the market that don’t harm or stain, but colors is just the tip of the iceberg, when I have so many issues with the festival.
We all also know how murky Holi parties get – people go on a high and end up harassing women inappropriately! Not to forget rave parties in the name of “Holi” and “bhaang”.
Holi eve also marks burning the effigy of Holika and other household waste with wood – doesn’t get along with me well too. We have enough pollution and I don’t like every house/society doing a “Holika dahan” not even knowing the history/mythology around it good enough.
Until recently, our own women in Brindavan were deprived of this festival just because they were widows! Even now, they can play with flowers but not colors!
There could be a group that thinks those women are deprived of colors in their life owing to their marital status, but I think they have the happiest celebrations of all. Imagine getting to play to your hearts full with all kinds of colorful flowers!! Petals showering down on each of them, like its God’s own blessings! It must be pure bliss!
Even in ISKCON, they play Holi with flowers, where they end up making it to the compost afer celebrations!
These are just some examples – I’m not saying everyone start playing Holi only with flowers here on!
Currently, it appears to me that people are all about having fun with colors, getting on a high and letting them loose one day – with little or no knowledge on what message we are transmitting to our younger generation!
I want my son to grow up every bit respectful of Indian traditions, at the same time respectful of women, other living beings and Earth too! Understand and act, rather go by the herd!
You may think/ask there is so many other things that might appear wrong with other festivals & what I do about them? True that! I don’t do anything for the sake of celebration/tradition, if I am not convinced by it. I don’t get coerced into doing things by family or peer pressure (there isn’t any, touchwood!).
I will always continue to do my bit and rationalize things wherever possible and bring up a sensible boy who understands why things are done the way they are – this way I learn myself a lot too!
So, will the society accept me? #IDontCare #TheyWouldOneDay #BeTheChange
This is purely my take on Holi, to spread some awareness atleast at home! Don’t post negative comments here please..
You might want to check my DIY Holi Color for some skin, earth & kid friendly option to celebrate the festival here – How to make quick & easy DIY Holi Color?