I grew up on a steady dose of films. Bollywood films of yore had a set pattern. A ‘fight sequence’, ‘a dream sequence’ a song imploring God, a romantic song and if not always then mostly, a Holi song.
The iconic ‘Rang Barse’ is still a must play song on Holi. In fact I was so impressed by that song, and a high on Bhaang Amitabh Bachchan showing so much ‘daring’ that I wanted to sip on the drink that could make a human fearless!
With Holi around the corner and the compelling curiosity to find out led me to adventurously glug down two enormous glasses of ‘Bhaang’ (hiding behind a tree, if details interest you).
While I waited for the Indian version of Dope to intoxicate me, I smiled to myself at pleasurable very-soon-to-be-inebriated-visions of myself;
- a) Dancing wildly for the next couple of hours
- b) Laughing uproariously for the next few days
- c) Sleeping off the whole of the following week
- d) Pointing out at Bhaang-induced multiple images of people and laughing some more
- e) All of the above and in no particular order.
I imagined proudly regaling all and sundry later, with all of the above anecdotes at every given, or forcefully taken, opportunity.
After a good one hour, I was still ‘all there’ in the head. Only smiling pleasantly and not laughing uproariously. I could still see people in singular form, without the much anticipated double vision, and I grew suspicious.
Only to find out that all I had done was upped my calcium intake. The supposedly-spiked Bhaang was just flavoured milk. The real Bhaang was hidden away and accessible only to people of the inner clique.
When Bhaang disappoints, Mithai’s come to the rescue, for what is Holi without sweets? Homemade Mithais like the decadent Mohanthal which is Mom’s trademark. The simply delicious Sattu ke Laddoo which were a must! I looked forward all year to syrupy Mawa Gujiyas.
Chaat is always on the menu too. Dahi Puri, Sev Puri, Paani Puri, the Indian versions of finger food, just the right thing to feast on, when your hands are all colors of the rainbow and you have to keep refuelling yourself to play another round of Holi.
I have played Phoolon ki Holi too, with fragrant flower petals, but it wasn’t half as much fun as the real deal.
The joy of Holi is being covered in color, drenched by well aimed Balloons and Pichkari’s and bantering away as you add, ‘Bura Na Mano Holi Hai’ at the end of it.