Saturday, March 3, 2007


Holi. One of the Other Days.You tumble out of bed, groggy-eyed, reach for the newspaper, and being a normal human being, turn to the gossip supplement. On the cover page is another city model with a painted Japanese-opera face, cavorting about in what looks suspiciously like a psychedelic tie-and-die trekking tent.

Holi Chic has arrived.

Now, let us suppose for one moment that you and I are not a city model with a Japanese-opera face. And let us suppose that in a momentary fit of March madness, you and I have actually dished out the dough for an outfit categorized as Holi Chic.

So here we are, cruising about the city on the latest mobike (is there such a thing anymore?). Suddenly, a whizzing sound is heard (not the wind, dummy. Don’t break the moment), and poof – our over-coloured costumes now have over-coloured faces to match, thanks to the mighty Water Balloon – which, by the way, contains something that is definitely not water.

Applause, please. You and I are officially eligible for the post of an African witch-doctor’s pet bird.

So what is wrong with the scene? The fact that our hallowed Holi couture cannot be worn anywhere else (gasp – where have I heard that before?). Which brings me to the point of this piece – why in heaven’s name would anyone want to splurge on a many-hued monstrosity when you can achieve the same effect by throwing on an old sheet and standing resolutely in the way of some overenthusiastic kid with a pichkari?

The great Holi Lunch, you explain. Everyone must show off their bejeweled bodies in the legendary “notun jaama”. So why not Holi Chic?

Well, once lunch is done and burped over, and you sway, overfed and over-bhaanged, to your – ahem – mobike, and you’re on the road again. Suddenly, there’s this whizzing in your ear (not the bhaang, dummy – DON’T break the moment) and what do you know, the Balloon Bearer has struck again.

Holy shit. A kid spoiled my Holi Chic.

Looks like the old bedsheet plan works better after all. Holi is the one festival where you are actually allowed to revert to juvenilia. No one arrests you for acting like a demented six-year old. Why spoil it? Maybe the gossip columns with headlines like “Spring High Fashion” ought to be converted into packets to hold the aabir. Okay, gulaal. Whatever. STOP breaking the moment!!

Unless, of course, you prefer a spin on the - cough - mobike.

0 kindred spirits have swallowed my rambling: