Holi is one of those fleeting moments, like life itself when the country becomes colourful and come alive. Although many years have passed, I still have certain memories and images like photos of the holi I spent in my hometown amidst an intense struggle of water and coloured powder that preceded the beginning of the hot summer season.
The truth, I do not know if my memories are of one holi or the mixture of several or maybe they are only product of my imagination that over the years I made them into reality. In that town, set in the depths of a circle of mountains that looked solemnly, at the end of the night all the pajama buddies would gather to play with the colours that were bought for the occasion. It was also the time to finally put on those old clothes that mom would keep in the closet with the sole purpose of wearing them in holi.
We were children and we managed to play through the cobbled streets without fear. Despite the difference in communities, resentments did not succeed in truncating the joy of holi, because it was the moment when everyone splashed water balloons along the edge of the sidewalks to the beat of the music of the time.
The open hearts flowed with sensitivity and affection to embrace each other in a brotherly way. These are moments that the clock should not stop, but make them eternal to feel that we are all human beings. At that age the happiness of life prevailed with a little sawdust of colours to simulate roads between the mountains.
We ran around after consuming sweetened drinks with friends with the raucous roar, the explosion of balloons and shouting holi hai. And our laughs were sloshing in the middle of the streets under the proud look of hills and mountains hoping that the fatigue would make us sleep.
The shops were filled with colours. It was quite a spectacle. And even though we did not go in to buy always, the mere fact of standing in front of the heaps of colours was enough. At holi it was time to de-stress as if there was no tomorrow. We thought of our most hated person, and throw all our rage in the form of a water balloon bullet at them as also playing with family, among friends, in a race of colours without competition.
My grandfather and my uncles prepared the thandai and other drinks, flavored with cinnamon, anise, coconut and rum, while my grandmother, my mom and my aunts would prepare pakoras and malpua in the kitchen. Sometimes my cousin would steal a little of the sweets prepared and give me to try.
Then my uncles would start the play of colours with the whole family, and my friends, who more than friends, are the family that life gave me. My grandparents sat on their hammock chairs and my grandfather, who was one of the most popular people in the city, left no neighbour to greet.
Holi! You are the nostalgia, the beautiful nostalgia of what I lived and will not be repeated, because the protagonists are gone. Holi! You are the force that I have, to be the protagonist of the holi of the generations to come, until I am no longer, and they also have the sweet memories and the obligation to star in thousands of holi in future.
Now, everything in me changed again. The enthusiasm, the magic, the desire to surprise everyone, to want to be together, everything came back to me, to sing, to play holi with family and to share, holi turned out to be magic. Honestly, I cannot think of a better gift for all of us.
The sense of joy and unbridled fun have always remained in my memory today, and this memory, the memories of holi, makes me long for the days when a steaming dish of pakwan was seasoned with smiles of colours.