The festival of colors is here! I have always had a love-hate relationship with Holi celebration. As a kids, we used to have so much fun during Holi. For us, the celebration would begin days in advance – throwing water balloons on each other and hiding behind walls or on the building terrace and throwing water or water balloons on unsuspecting passers by. And the look of bewilderment on their faces would send us into peals of laughter. Cruel. I know. I really wish I had better sense then.
Growing up, the liking for the celebrations grew less and less. I dreaded walking on the streets a few days before Holi (I still do) – you never know when and from where the water balloons could hit you and ruin your clothes. I know, Karma! I also hated the colors which took days to fade away and irritated my skin. So instead of playing Holi, I would hide inside the house. Until some friends would come and drag me out to play. Reluctantly, I would go. This continued for years. Then, my daughter was born. As she started playing and enjoying the Holi celebrations, I started playing Holi again. No, I no longer hide and throw water balloons on unsuspecting people. In fact, I read on the local newspaper (Mumbai) that people who do this could get arrested..whooops!
A lot of things have changed however. Now we play a lot more responsibly. Here’s what you can do too –
- Use only skin-friendly, non toxic colors. Encourage your friends to do so too.
- Use water sparingly. Avoid wastage of water.
- Protect your skin and hair – oil your hair and apply oil (or sunscreen – even better) on your skin before you play with colors so that the colors do not come in direct contact with your skin/hair
- If your kids are too young, keep a bottle of water handy so that if any color accidentally goes in their mouth or eyes, you can quickly rinse it off.
- I have seen a lot of people use plastic pouches as water balloons. Please do not use these pouches. They will ultimately clog the drains. Spread awareness among your friends and in your neighborhood too.
Wish you all a very happy, colorful and safe holi!