Holi. That one word is enough for anyone to think of colors and cough up rainbows. In India Holi is a big deal.
“You aren’t celebrating Holi this year? Why?” My over excited friend asks. He is gonna poop colors for Holi, I’m sure.
“My Mom banned it.”
“What? Why would she do that?”
Actually it is a small story, a stupid one too. This was one week ago. Dad was watching a news channel and Swine Flu horrors were flashing on every inch of our flat screen. So, guess what my stupid sister adds to the already easy atmosphere:
“You know Mom, because of the water and toxic colors this Holi, there is a chance of the virus taking the colors as the means to spread.”
And that was it. Holi? Duh, forget it this time.
So it was a boring day for everyone from the start. Mom got up at 6 and started ticking off the chores from her to-do list. Dad went out early in the morning regarding some work and we siblings got up late and got ready.
Both of us have exams tomorrow, my sister and me. So we had plans as to finish up the portion. My brother had already got his share of scolding for sneaking out and playing Holi with water. All wet, my Mom was half sure he would fall sick the next day.
Then it happened. I was blow drying my hair and my Dad shows up at around 11 in my room with packets of eco-friendly colors.
“Where’s Mom?” He asks, almost whispering.
“Umm, I don’t know. But I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t do what you’re about to.”
“Nothing will happen. Just tell me where she is. What’s the fun if you aren’t even going to color one part of your face on Holi? It’s Holi. Come on. You’re acting like you’re a grandmother. Get up and help me with these.”
“Ok, I’m pretty sure I’m not a grandmother, but you’re definitely acting like a kid. Mom might be on the terrace with Shalu. And just so we’re clear, I’ll help you with the colors, but if Mom starts throwing things at you, I’m gonna stand out of the way. I suggest you duck.”
He gives me a blunt look and we both head upstairs. My sister was studying on the cot and my Mom was sunbathing. And Dad came in behind her.
In that one moment, everything changed. The boring house was transformed into one with screaming laughters, filled with colors. Mom became completely Green and I attacked her with Yellow on her side. She attacked Dad in return. Then it was my sister’s turn. She gave in to my colored hands but with revenge in her mind. In a few minutes all four of us were looking like Green and Yellow aliens.
We had a hearty laugh at how each one of us was looking and my Mom forgot about the ban. She looked around at her family, the colored weird faces and I think she smiled a peaceful smile.
Then it hit her. “Where the hell is your brother? Don’t tell me he went out to play again with water. He already got a cold.”
She marched down to call him. But we sisters had a plan. We called him in and as soon as he entered the door, all four of us rubbed colors on him. He stood dumbstruck as to what happened and looked around at our alienated, colored faces.
“I don’t mind the colors but I think I just spat on someone’s hand.” He said after coughing out the color from his mouth.
Everyone started checking their hands and realized later he was trolling us. That 10 year old kid can make jokes, I tell you.
And here I am, at 1:47 pm, all cleaned up and rethinking how much better this day became. Dad was all colored on his way back home from his morning work. That’s when he thought his family doesn’t need to dodge the Holi colors. He bought the colors and shot everyone with it.
If he hadn’t, this would be a very boring day. Except for the West-Indies Vs. India match, nothing else would become of this year’s Holi.
And I reminisce the moment when everyone was violently slapping colors to each other’s faces, even Mom, and I’m glad no one survived the colors.