Sunday, 4 March 2007


Well, so what if they get under your nails? Leave your skin with a (healthier?!) than usual warm fuschia glow? So what if your scalp's screaming vermillion? It's once in a calendar year, anyway!

On the beach, a riot of people. Not literally; it's myriad individuals ingesting sea water (tainted with scores of other unmentionables) and tossing fistfuls of colour at each other... Intrepid small-time photographers, "Madam, ek photo ka tees rupiah. Sauh ke chaar." (Ma'am, one photograph for thirty rupees. Four for a hundred.) woo you, to score one over the other guy jostling for space. And your okay.

Obscure news channels from across the globe (yes, really!) plying their camera and related equipment, snatching sound bytes from an ever-willing audience, to later treat their viewers to "Holi, the Indian Festival of Colours", drawled for the benefit of the camera, lurk around.

Intrepid street, oops, beach vendors hawking their ware: samosas (triangles of pastry filled with spicy potato and fried golden brown), ice-gola (a ball of ice dipped in sorbet, to be slurped up noisily), idlis (steamed lentil cakes)... all this, of course, garnished with grains of sand. The variety is seemingly endless, and it's up to your insides to get tough and survive.

Cops and the life guards work in tandem, ensure there's no unruly incident and the resultant chaos, and warn people away from the water once the tide starts to rise.

Families (kids of the single-digit age group in tow), couples (oblivious to most other things around them), carloads of friends out to have a good time - you'll find all sorts have a rollicking day out on the beach.

In other parts, you'll find people guzzling bhaang. But that's another story. Another post.

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