These days all festivals in cities are big. Is it the cosmopolitan nature of the city or is it market overdrive? Either way, it’s lots of fun ’n’ colours.
Winter has bid us its final goodbye and it sure seems like the sun has never shone brighter. Spring is here and it’s now that everything looks, feels, and smells cheerful. And what accentuates the coming of spring in India is Holi, the exuberant festival of colours. Given that the festival is one’s license to have unlimited fun, Bangalore is celebrating Holi in ways aplenty.
With each passing year Holi celebrations in the city are only getting bigger and better. “Bangalore is a melting pot of cultures and I love how we take celebrating every festival seriously. We adopt, adapt, and more than anything, have fun. Since I live away from my family (they’re in Pune), Holi has always been about spending the day with friends, spraying and splashing colour on each other. Last year we partied at a five-star hotel in the city. Holi 2014 is going to be celebrated at the Bangalore Holi Festival which has a good line-up of music and dance performances. The umpteen food stalls are a bonus,” says Abijit Gaikwad, a marketing executive.
That the North Indian population in the city is increasing is no new fact. And they seem to have brought their unique traditions with them. “On Holi sons-in-law and their families are invited for a meal to their in-law’s house. Newly-wed brides are gifted saris by their mothers. In most of our communities, making gujjia and paapri is synonymous with Holi,” informs homemaker Ritu Goyal.
Joint families are slowly, but surely disintegrating into more handy nuclear ones so spending the day with the whole bunch is among the highlights of Holi. “Nothing is more fun than hanging out with cousins, going crazy with pichkaris, getting inebriated on bhang and most importantly, playing pranks on even the older members of the family,” says college student Nilesh Rao. “This year, I’m also going for the Rangeela 2014 Holi Bash that’s happening at a popular club in town,” he adds.
In India, Bollywood has found a way of fortifying celebrations like Holi. If the festival is correlated to spring, pichkaris, bhang and practical jokes, it’s equally about songs and films that revolve around it. “We wake up listening to Holi songs such as ‘Rang Barse’ from Silsila, ‘Hori Khele Raghuveera’ from Baghban and Holi Aayi Re Kanhai. After we’re done covering each other head to toe in Holi colours, we spend the rest of the day watching movies like Sholay and Mother India,” says Monisha Jha, a lecturer.
Private parties on Holi are not uncommon and now, corporate set-ups too are celebrating Holi. “Bosses and employees get together and have a good time. The trend is catching on and I have come to realise that it is among the best ways to get to know one’s co-workers better,” vouches Anishaa Taneja, a HR manager.
With Bangalore offering so many different ways and means to soak in the colourful merriment of the festival, it is good to know that while we whine about traditions waning, maybe we are just inventing newer ways to mark a day like Holi!