Holi: A festival or Merely a Ruse For Groping??

Aeons  ago (so the legends and scriptures say) on  a balmy, fragrant and sunlit spring day  the much loved dark lord (Krishna)  had played  Holi with his consort Radha/Radhika and a bevy of  pretty milkmaids (Gopikas)who  were  her close friends in Brijbhumi.  The ambience must surely have been ecstatic, with the  dark waters of  the Yamuna  cheerfully flowing nearby, and the lush green  trees  exploding into riot of colours…As is only too  well  known, it is to commemorate this  spectacular occasion that  Holi is  observed even today. In fact it has been interpolated into  our  traditions and cultural  ethos.

But  look around you now. Much  water  has flowed down the river since the primeval, euphoric times. The motley of coloured powders with which those ‘celestial’ players played  were culled nature’s bounty  namely   flowers  fruits  leaves and  herbs. They have yielded place  to toxic  chemical liquids and paints in modern days.

By far, the most obnoxious aspect of  the festival is its  rowdy, free-for-all  atmosphere and  spirit. In our country and  more  specifically in the  entire  northern belt  the catch line or   keynote –whatever  you call it–during the festival is “Bura na mano holi hai”  (all is fair during  Holi  so don’t take it  to heart).

Doesn’t this seem to imply :all  sorts  of  unacceptable   behavior, including bawdy humour, and  lechery can have a free run on this particular occasion? Aren’t men managing a leeway for themselves? Let me tell you why: It is sort of mandatory to consume bhang (a cannabis laden drink)  during Holi, and opiated men can’t be penalized for misconduct. During the festival which is considered a great leveler and harbinger of fraternal bonds, fine  lines  of  social norms, and morality get blurred. Even the most tradition-bound,  perpetually veiled (ghunghat wearers) womenfolk  venture out freely and indulge  in  revelry and boisterous sprinkling of colours on any one they  may  bump into.

Naturally a few  among  the men would be tempted to touch and grope them (they are groggy right?) considering the fact that normally they don’t witness such huge  number of females in their  normal daily lives.  It might sound tad embarrassing but thoroughly drenched, silhouetted  feminine figures appear  tantalizing.

So is  it  a case of  “Make hay while the sun shines’’. What?

All  in  whether it is the males  have a time  of their lives or the Fair Sex who would otherwise  flare  up,  don’t seem  to mind  for just  a  day the obscenities in and around Holi are here to stay.

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About the Author

RUCHIRA GHOSH

Am a trained and experienced features writer with 30 plus years of experience .My favourite subjects are women's issues, food travel, art,culture ,literature et all.Am a true feminist at heart. An iconoclast read more...

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