Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holi

Hubby is home from work today in honor of the messy and colorful holiday known as Holi. (Pronounced like holy.) There are actually religious and historical references I could give you to explain Holi but that’s pretty boring and I don’t feel like looking it up on the Internet.

Holi, for those of you who haven’t experienced it in person, is an annual festival of color. Basically, everybody goes outside and throws rainbows of paint on one another so that by the end of the day, you look like a color chart from pink and purple shoes to blue and orange eyebrows.

The methods used for dispensing the colors vary and include Supersoakers (I kid thee not), special Holi paint spatter-ers, colored paint dust, water balloons, and basically anything people can get their hands on. Yesterday, and for the last week or so, Khan Market was abuzz with people buying water pistols and paint tubes for today’s revelry.

It really does look like fun and everybody wears old clothes to ensure that there are no hard feelings. Oddly, there actually appear to be rules to this occasion. Our car, to date, remains unmolested, as does our door. We are not participating and people are generally respectful (if disdainful) of our killjoy attitude.

Needless to say, Hubby and I have locked ourselves inside the house. We have been enjoying Holi by watching the adults and kids in the park across from our apartment bedeck each other in paint. So far, the doorbell has only rung twice and we’ve been careful to assure ourselves who was there before opening the door. A better plan in theory than in action it turned out.

When the second bell sounded, we looked out the window and saw a car parked directly in front of our door. Figuring that it must be somebody we knew or at least something important, I sent Hubby down to see what was up. That is when he got Holi-ed.

Two of our friends, Kiwi and her Indian husband, took it upon themselves to make sure that we fully immersed ourselves in Indian culture for the day. Kiwi used perfumed powder paint to streak our faces Holi pink while Indian Husband, in his own paint spattered HSBC shirt, laughed at us. We thanked them by serving them mango juice and snacks before sending them off to see their next victims.

Holi is now almost over. The only evidence that this day ever passed is the splotches of paint that dot the roads and Holi-dyed shirts hanging from laundry lines. All in all, this may well be the coolest Indian holiday we’ve experienced.

Happy Holi.

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