Adults and kids were prancing around with war cries drowning out the Easter Bunny nursery rhymes which were competing with Bollywood renditions of “Holi Hein!”
The netizens decided to put a little colour in Easter and immediately proceeded to oust the pastels. With a cry of heave ho and make room for gawdy gulal, algae green, haldi yellow and all colors that would blind the sun, buckets were busted out and kids sent to knock on doors for blaster water guns. Adult males were seen bullying said kids and taking possession of the ‘guns’ to be called pichkaris for the rest of the evening. Easter was paid homage by dousing color filled plastic eggs in buckets of water to be used with marked aim at rears, pates and bounteous female front-loads.
As neighbors gathered, everything that breathed was pelted and years of resentment and pent-up frustrations were suspiciously visible in the farcical camaraderie. But truth be told, thirty minutes into the holi spirit, with the street looking like someone had inverted boxes of Crayola – the fun began in earnest. The fifteen-pound whelp of a yorkie too joined in the frolicking until someone mistakenly dunked him. If that was not enough humiliation, the neighborhood cat chased him around like she was trying to catch a moonbeam. Last seen, Paco the Yorkie had legged it out of sight, and seeking vengeance.
The food table too got its share of colorful bliss as some wise people had doggedly refrained from sheltering it. Undeterred, all and sundry reached out for the savories, gulping down gulal coated cupcakes and pizzas. I am certain the colour may have spiked the food because the melee had now taken on the jungle theme. Adults and kids were prancing around with war cries drowning out the Easter Bunny nursery rhymes which were competing with Bollywood renditions of “Holi Hein!” Right on cue turning a corner came a convoy of ‘saamne waali chowki ke pandus’ aka precinct cops with blaring sirens and flashing lights (yes, spot on like some top cop Hollywood movie) and out stepped poor cousin versions of Mel Gibsons and Bruce Willises, twirling their batons. At this point, imagine if you will, uniformed officers with a Dirty Harry stance, getting pelted with color bombs and swarmed by some rather eerie looking humans who cannot be racially profiled, shouting ‘Happy Easter ‘Holi’ – Day! What could be their best course of action? a. pull out their megaphones and ask for everyone to lay down their ‘weapons’; b. handcuff the seven-year old that is going amok with the bucket of coloured water; or c. throw their hats in the ring? Precisely, taking the third course of action, hats were tossed, shirts came untucked and the boys in blue joined the fray. A hat caught a flock of crows atop a nearby tree and they too belted down some of their own pellets. Merriment abounded and the noise broke its own mach record.
Two things happened the next day. 1) The community bulletin had some religious fanatic crying foul while some locals called it blasphemy. ‘pagans, thou hast desecrated the rise of our good Lord”. Meanwhile the good Lord was smiling down upon us, saying, “I resurrected myself to see joy – Rejoice my children”! Mata Holika too blessed us with a wink. As for me, I swear I saw them exchange elbow bumps with all the other Gods in consensus of the revelry that brought people of different faiths celebrating life. 2) Many people went to work with rather unsightly looking hair and complexions – imported gulal does not wash off with soap or shampoo, and nature must be allowed to take its due course.