Friday, March 14, 2014

Holi Everyday.

A box of crayons is a joy for a child. Its the one place where nothing contradicts. It's always a contrast or complimenting color but never contradictory. 

It's no secret, I love colors; from the calming blues and passionate reds to the confident black and innocent white, I love them all. As a citizen of the world (I think) born in India, colors and Holi are synonyms to me. 

India or USA, March is the season of spring everywhere. After a freezing winter, as the warmth of the sun emanates the Earth. It's when every seed frees itself and bursts out to celebrate life. As Robin Williams once said "Spring is nature's way of saying "Let's party." Party is what India does during spring; celebrated on the full moon during the month of Phalgun, usually the month of March, spring creates a beautiful mess like no other fesitval :) 

Imagine playing with colors with all your friends and neighbor-hood, what you get is a sky full of colors.  The question is why do Indians celebrate Holi? Well like everything else, there is a mythological angle to this to. So long time ago, there was a king Hrianyakashyap. In return for his unshakeable faith and worship to Lord Brahma, he was granted the boon of immortality. What would happen to a man who was granted immortality? Like they show in the Hollywood fictions, yes he did start thinking of himself as the god and created trouble for all.  Fortunately for the world and mankind, his son Prahlad, was not like him. Prahlad, was a good soul who did not agree with his father's evil intentions.  Angered at his son's  opposition and after many failed attempts to kill him, Hrianyakashyap orders his son to be set on fire with his sister Holika, a demon who was thought to have immunity from fire.  The gods came together and saved Prahlad and the evil was burnt in the fire.  So Holi in one part celebrates the victory of good over evil.  

There's another romantic angle to the story too. Lord Krishna is worshipped my many Hindu's. Historically, the hindus worshipped Krishna by putting red color on his idol, friends and family. It is believed that Krishna used this opportunity to have a little fun with his beloved Radha and the rest of us mortals just followed :)  

This symbolism of devotion today is the fun filled crazy color flinging fun,  we know as Holi. 

Growing up in India, Holi instantly brings back memories of getting up early, wearing that specially selected pure white outfit and teaming up with friends to roam the street aimlessly and fling color at each other and passers by. Yes passers by, that's the beauty of the festival, one can throw color at anyone and there is never a yell or scream that comes back. The only reaction is a smile.

Today, Holi for me continues to be a favorite festival, but the crazy runs to neighbors and friends afar has been replaced by a family affair in the backyard where in my son loves taking the hose pipe and drenching his mom with it. It's the one day he can do this and not get yelled at :)  This is the play part of Holi. 

In reality as I look at Holi today, I see and realize it is a part of my every day life. Holi symbolizes much more than the mythological victory of gods or the love of Krishna, it's about embracing the different colors of life.  Life is like a box of crayons. It's filled with bright vibrant reds to melancholy yet calming blues.   

You don't need to actually play Holi to celebrate or believe in it. I don't play every year, but I know I celebrate Holi everyday because I love colors in my wardrobe, I love colors in my cooking and I love colors in my paintings.  There are days when nothing seems to go correct, on those days it's the vibrant yellows blend effortlessly with the blues to create the life giving greens. 

Colors are beautiful; while the red is passionate and exotic, and green brings life, black is a beautiful color too that stands tall with its distinct personality and yet absorbs all that is thrown at it, White on the other hand teaches us to ignore the minor differences and blend in as one human race.    

Colors silently teach us to compliment and not oppose.  

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Holi. 


  1. Well written. Life is a canvas. Let's make it colorful.

  2. WOW.. that was fast Monica. Thank you for visiting and taking the time to say hello :)

    Happy Holi .. have a wonderful time. May your sky always be bright and colorful.

  3. Wow, so well written. I love the way you ended it by saying "colors silently teach us to compliment and not oppose"
    It was fun playing holi with all of you. Looking forward to more.

    1. Thank you Shashi for visiting the blog and taking the time to post too.

      Same here.. really glad the impromptu Holi happened. It was so much fun.