Back home in Assam, Holi was just another two-day holiday from school because I was barely a festive person. Little did I know, as I moved to Delhi, Holi would become an endangerment with no redemptive courtesy, with flinging semen-filled balloons becoming the order of the day.
While Holi was to be only celebrated in the first week of March, the “celebrations” started hitting me hard from the end of January when the kids from my colony made traveling to and fro college a gruesome experience. The equation of most people with kids is based on how irksome they are. If they are cute and quiet, people mostly deal with them in methods which do not involve wracking or lambasting. But if they are like the rumbustious boys in my colony who, having just attended puberty, would drench you in tinted water just to see the outline of your bra through the shirt, they mostly deal with them in their minds, for the Delhi High Court banned corporal punishment in 2000. Things, however, started improving when His Highness, the Secretary of our colony, who hitherto hadn’t taken notice of this preposterous behavior until he himself got a scintillating zeppelin hurled at, brought an order from his honorable office instructing the balloon-propelling to be limited to 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
By the time Valentine’s Day came, I knew enough to think of an excuse to escape the myriad water balloons, for I couldn’t show up dripping in colors of blue, yellow, and green for my date. Thus, when I saw those rowdy seven-year-olds approaching with nerve-racking pochettes, I let out meekly, “Tabiyat Kharab Hai, Please Jane Do.” (I’m not well, please let me go). To my incredulity, the leader amongst them, who looked like he’d probably bully little kids into giving up their tiffin in school, demanded, “Doctor ka receipt!” I’d leave it to your understanding the sequence of events that followed when I couldn’t produce that wretched piece of receipt.
I know they say “Bura Na Mano Holi Hai” (Don’t get offended, because its Holi), but when barbarity is disguised as a festival and freeway to harass people, in particular girls, I can’t help but be angry. Thanks to the feminist upbringing of college and the vehement protests of my sisters-in-arms, this Holi I’m allowing myself to be unapologetically angry. Let’s say it loud and clear- “Bura Mano Holi Hai” (Get offended, because it’s Holi). If consent is ruining your festivities, then guess what? I don’t care about your festivities.
Feature Image Credits: The Dawn
Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak