Holi milan & holi-ganism

The myths and legends surrounding Holi are primarily a celebration of good over evil, innovation over monotony, masti over boredom. At the core of most of these stories is the playful prankster Krishna, whose antics in Gokul have been the stuff of entertainment for children and grown-ups down the centuries.

Heralding the arrival of spring with colours and scents amidst bonhomie sounds like just about everybody’s idea of fun. Add to the mix a good amount of eating, drinking and merry-making to rev up the collective mood. While traditional Holi has remained pretty much unchanged over the centuries in temple towns and locations connected to Radha-Krishna lore (Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana, Dwaraka, Nathdwara and others), urban Holi has become a major event with each passing year.
Essentially a festival played out in the streets and bylanes of localities — it is certainly not a drawing-room celebration — modern Holi has acquired some very disturbing strains. Often the worship element is forgotten and hooliganism takes over. The drumbeats that start rolling from dawn are irritating and often merely a money-collection gimmick. The festival is a saamoohik or group activity — nobody can play Holi alone. So the toli or the group (some would say “the mob”) is very significant. Not everybody shares the same enthusiasm for this festival. So the toli has to exert to make its presence felt. Some may be disciplined, but most are not. As the group winds its way through the streets, it sometimes behaves like a marauding horde that tramples over lawns, litters the roads or stains the walls with palm-prints and colour sprays.
Holi then degenerates into a certain form of harassment where those who do not want to play the game are pulled out of their homes with veiled barbs and even vicious insults on occasion. And before you realise, there is colour in your eyes, nose, ears and down your clothes. This colour is often not just dry abir or gulal — it is mixed with grease, rotten eggs and other substances that may make for a revolting chronicle of juvenile tomfoolery but not much else. Dignity and order goes for a toss and this is justified with cries of “Holi hai!”
Holika Dahan is about making a bonfire of our troubles and sins and seeking His grace, just as the Lord protected Prahlad from the unspeakable atrocities his demon father heaped on him. The true essence of Holi Milan is the friendly daub of colour on the cheek and forehead, a warm hug or a sincere namaste and intentions to take that togetherness beyond this single day to a connection that endures.

Post new comment

<form action="/comment/reply/227643" accept-charset="UTF-8" method="post" id="comment-form"> <div><div class="form-item" id="edit-name-wrapper"> <label for="edit-name">Your name: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="60" name="name" id="edit-name" size="30" value="Reader" class="form-text required" /> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-mail-wrapper"> <label for="edit-mail">E-Mail Address: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="64" name="mail" id="edit-mail" size="30" value="" class="form-text required" /> <div class="description">The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.</div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-comment-wrapper"> <label for="edit-comment">Comment: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <textarea cols="60" rows="15" name="comment" id="edit-comment" class="form-textarea resizable required"></textarea> </div> <fieldset class=" collapsible collapsed"><legend>Input format</legend><div class="form-item" id="edit-format-1-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-1"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-1" name="format" value="1" class="form-radio" /> Filtered HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Allowed HTML tags: &lt;a&gt; &lt;em&gt; &lt;strong&gt; &lt;cite&gt; &lt;code&gt; &lt;ul&gt; &lt;ol&gt; &lt;li&gt; &lt;dl&gt; &lt;dt&gt; &lt;dd&gt;</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-format-2-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-2"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-2" name="format" value="2" checked="checked" class="form-radio" /> Full HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> </fieldset> <input type="hidden" name="form_build_id" id="form-8feca2cbc4f2f1ef53c348a676a55cf4" value="form-8feca2cbc4f2f1ef53c348a676a55cf4" /> <input type="hidden" name="form_id" id="edit-comment-form" value="comment_form" /> <fieldset class="captcha"><legend>CAPTCHA</legend><div class="description">This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.</div><input type="hidden" name="captcha_sid" id="edit-captcha-sid" value="82446180" /> <input type="hidden" name="captcha_response" id="edit-captcha-response" value="NLPCaptcha" /> <div class="form-item"> <div id="nlpcaptcha_ajax_api_container"><script type="text/javascript"> var NLPOptions = {key:'c4823cf77a2526b0fba265e2af75c1b5'};</script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://call.nlpcaptcha.in/js/captcha.js" ></script></div> </div> </fieldset> <span class="btn-left"><span class="btn-right"><input type="submit" name="op" id="edit-submit" value="Save" class="form-submit" /></span></span> </div></form>

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.