Holi Post Better Late Than Never April 03 2013, 0 Comments

I can safely say, for those who manufacture in India, Holi is that time of year when you constantly cringe, knowing all your deadlines are due, and that absolutely nothing will get done. 

Because the first thing that happens when Holi approaches is that although everyone can speak of nothing else, the actual date that Holi falls on can not be pin pointed. 

'Some time around the 20th till the 29th, it's definitely one of those days'.  

The pre warning begins around two weeks in advance, 'Don't forget, it's HOLI, every one is returning to their village, all work will stop!' Whether they are going 1 week before or staying a week later also depends on when the date falls.

Frustration builds and you find yourself detesting absolutely everyone. 

From the happy tourists who arrive wearing the predictable white kurta pyjama, flip flops and huge Canon cameras complete with the wide angle lens, which you know isn't going to make it through the colorful, chaotic and highly wet festival of Holi. 

To your friends who smugly inform you of their elaborate Holi holiday plans that they've pre organized as not to endure the stress of watching their production being abandoned.

I'm never that organized. 

This year, although Holi was bumpy, manufacturing wise, I must say I was quite excited. 

A friend explained the mythological history of Holi, and like most holidays that fall around this time of year, it has to do with harvesting and the reformation of crops. 

It has developed into the festival of color, where everyone is basically intoxicated from the morning's start. The protocol is to dress in white, leave the house armed with water guns or buckets, and pigments which you have purchased the night before. 

Grandmothers, children, milk vendors, everyone comes out and goes completely wild. By the time you reach where ever it is that you are going to play Holi, you have probably been completely sprayed by a rainbow of colors on the street and are soaking wet.

It's a completely surreal feeling, and what is even better is that you can physically feel all tension and stress left behind as everyone runs frantically, spraying each other with water so the fluorescent pigments stick. Strangers roar at each other and join forces to gang up on others. I have no other way to describe it but surreal. 

By the end of the day, nothing makes sense. Everyone is an intoxicated blur of color and is completely worn out, but extremely happy and relaxed.

Generally life resumes to normal the day after Holi, at least with those who have returned from their villages. And it's an amazing feeling to try to keep a straight face and actually talk work while everyone, including yourself, has remnants of faint Holi stains that refuse to scrub off or green hair that will need a few more washes to resume it's natural color. 

Life is some how put into perspective, seriousness and stress are replaced by absurdity and foolishness. And it feels so good.  

Nur

(Images courtesy of ecru & Juliette Dumerchat)