Throw shades of pink, yellow and green on your regular blues as the City Of Joy prepares to paint the town, literally. Join me in my quest to unravel Holi's experiences through the eyes of a woman. It’ll be a colorful ride!
Here’s a memory from one morning that is forever etched in my heart. As I lay asleep on my bed, unaware of the quintessence of Holi since I never had the opportunity to enjoy my share of cheerfulness. The next moment, to my absolute surprise, I was awoken by a splash of water at my face and friends smearing colors on me. From human, I turned into a walking zombie hungry for people’s brains, in my case, coffee. For a split second, I had no idea about what is happening. Then they began screaming, “Bura na mano, Holi hai!” which almost deafened my ears but induced a rush in me, my eyes glinting with enthusiasm as perhaps, I had waited all my life to play Holi. Devouring tales of horrific incidents happening to women during the color celebrations from my parents, I had now decided to put my fears under the blanket and have my way at the festivities. After capturing some horrendous videos of me on Snapchat, my friends and I decided to take a vehicle on rent in Kolkata to descend on various locations where we could witness the panache essence of Holi.
Being a woman, you must have a clump of stories, memories of conversations around the burning fire and the scents of gulal and the bouquets of foliage. Similarly, the eighteen-year-old me was on her expedition of translating a festival unknown to her culture, a festival surmounting the good over evil. Our experiences, yours and mine, lie on the same fabric of existence, but here’s my take in capturing the various shades and tones of Kolkata during the most awaited festival of the year, Holi!
Unless there is a natural disaster like an earthquake stopping you from eating your breakfast, never skip it. Especially when you know that you will be hobbling along the scorching sunbeam, playing with colors with your loved ones. Why? Well, talking from personal experience, I had to suffer from an unforeseen yet predictable case of passing out. If I recall correctly, I was hurriedly looking for a pair of slippers because my friends were apparently dragging me onto the terrace. By then, I was overwhelmed by the excitement of rubbing tints on people’s faces that I forgot about having my breakfast. After three to four hours of fun and frolic, I happened to feel a strain of weakness; with my head swirling like a tornado and black patches appearing before my eyes, I couldn’t stand straight. Somehow, I crawled back to the room, wherein I collapsed unconsciously. It's not a sight to be remembered, but everybody makes mistakes.
Moving your body along the beats of Bollywood songs, unleashing the power of your inner child, reveling in the taste of thandai, notoriously throwing water balloons at strangers, and being drenched in various hues. Holi seems synonymous with the activities mentioned earlier, but it doesn’t have to stop here. Find your local need in Kolkata for almost anything you require, even Holi parties that will leave you in awe. Such events are spread all across the city; pay to enter the portal of joy and enthusiasm. Apart from being immersed in celebrating Holi's contemporary way, you will also witness certain variations to add to the fun. Some may incorporate the ‘Tomatina festival’ or ‘grape stomping’ on their list and serve you with unlimited food and drinks. Quite often, you might even have the golden luck of partying with celebrities; now, what’s the harm in creating bundles of thrilling memories, right?
It’s so convenient to own a scooty on rent in Kolkata because there is no way I want to be late for the huge events where I might have the chance to meet a celebrity or leave my stance of receiving unrestricted meals and refreshments. Although I had previously heard and read about the incidents that some people would grope women under the guise of putting colors on them, I wished to be careful. Let’s face it, no one likes to be touched against their will, but it does not mean that you will have to mould your attire in a way that is ‘appropriate’ for the crowd. All you need to do is keep your senses sharp and watch out for yourself. For one of the events that I visited, I made sure to go with a group. It renders a sense of security in such extreme cases because it's better to be safe than sorry!
Holi served me with the most incredible treat in my life, whiffing the aromas of lip-smacking, full-bodied, rich, and robust snacks; my mouth was already watering even before the day had started. A foodie like me who is controlled by the urge of taste rather than hunger, you know I’ll eat anything that would appear in front of me. But one of my friends warned me about the bhaang pakoras and bhaang lassi as its brewed with an edible form of Cannabis. You never know what might happen if you excessively consume these popular servings since it affects different people in distinct ways. If you feel like ingesting a solid dose of bhaang, then that would culminate in making you feel drowsy. I don’t know about you, but I would not want to spend Holi laying lifelessly on my couch, given that I yearn for fun moments. Before you yell for another glass of lassi or thandai, just know that its effect can be slow, but it's unavoidable. So, unless you want to spend the rest of your day sleeping, steer clear of bhaang!
During my venture, I was taken aback by watching people playing something called ‘Phool Ki Holi.’ It was a vibrant rendition of colors and happy faces smiling at each other with unequivocal faith and unity. Upon asking individuals about the reason behind playing Holi with flowers, I was relieved in knowing that people are still conscious about how their choices would impact the environment. They were endorsing the fact that water is misused at an alarming rate just for the sake of our contentment and enjoyment. With several parts of the world suffering from acute water shortage, it's sensible to extend a helping hand towards nature by making small changes in our life. To avoid a quantum of water loss, revelers gradually evolve their choice to flowers and organic colors. It’s interesting to envisage the concept of “victory of good over evil” in full bloom as folks abandon their destructive habits to inculcate new and benevolent techniques. Incredible India, in its absolute glory!
From a chaotic and bewildering display of colors on everyone’s body to a serene and tranquil evening spent with friends and family, the beauty of Holi was beyond my imagination. This is the day when you can let yourself loose, detach your mind from egos and expectations because you would never know what might happen next. Laugh with people and go with the flow because the best memories are made when you are not planning something when you are just living the moment. It was quite feasible to commute in Kolkata after leasing out a vehicle. What else do you need? Rented vehicles are cheap, private, and get the job done of reaching a particular place on time with no more waiting for public transport. Hop on to the business directory for Kolkata through any listings service portals to cater to your whims and desires.