As the city gears up to celebrate Holi, there is a silent prayer for all those affected by killer tsunami in Japan, reports Neeraja Murthy

Come Holi and Mithu Agarwal, a Hyderabadi settled in Bhopal is in two minds – whether to play with gulal or just plan a get-together with friends. It's two days to go to Holi and Mithu is hardly in a mood to celebrate this season. She has a prayer on her lips as she sits glued to television watching the death and devastation of killer tsunami in Japan.

“Holi is a special festival as it teaches you to abandon enmity and apply colour even if your enemy crosses his path in front of you. Unlike Deepavali, where you are confined to your house and burst crackers, during Holi, you go out to greet friends and relatives and play with colours,” she says and adds, “It is difficult to be joyful during this time when you see people in one part of the world in absolute sorrow and mourning the loss of thousands.”

Holi and fun are synonymous with each other as colourful scenes are witnessed at different corners of the city. For Gautami, a budding fashion designer from NIFT, Holi brings back happy memories. “Be it splashing water with a water gun or getting dirty in a mud pond… Holi is one rocking party for all our friends,” she enthuses.

However, there are some who are bogged by ‘to play or not to play' thoughts. Say Abhishek Jha and his friend Rahul. M., “We should do our bit to those affected by tsunami but how does it help them if we do not celebrate Holi?” they ask and continue on a philosophical note, “Life goes on no matter what and we should feel blessed that we are alive and celebrate these moments with our family and friends.”

If Abhishek is still undecided whether to play Holi at Jal Vihar or drop in at a resort for a special Holi party, it's not the case with G. Das, an intermediate student of Sri Vani Junior College. “It's like a tradition followed in our family. We play Holi with eco-friendly colours. Why should we put a halt to something we have been doing for years?” he asks.

To celebrate or not to celebrate is an individual decision and cannot be infused forcefully, believes actress Poonam Kaur. “I won't be celebrating Holi as I will be shooting nevertheless if one is not up to it, he or she cannot spread those thoughts to others. One can stay away from the colours if one wants to but the spirit of Holi should continue,” she says.

Holi is a big hit with actors and actresses especially in Bollywood. The festival of colours has been immortalised in films like Silsila where Amitabh croons Rang Barse Bheege Chunar Vaali… Actor Arjan Bajwa likes to spend time with friends during Holi but now he says, the big-time celebrations can wait. “We cannot get away from what is happening in Japan. Water is playing with them and they are trying to get into a zone to avoid water and here we are trying to play with water. Can't we give respect to the country by being little sensitive,” he sums it up.

Keywords: HoliJapan tsunami