"Keep working on a plan. Make no little plans. Make the biggest you can think of, and spend the rest of your life carrying it out." Harry S. Truman

Sunday, March 20, 2011

On feeling far, far, far from Holi.

Today is Holi, in India, or rather for Hindus all over the world. If not for Facebook, and the friends from /in India whom I'm in touch with via this social media tool, the day would have gone without my having the slightest notion that a mere 45 minutes (lucky birds) away from where I live, people are happily throwing colored powders at each other, and by the end of the day, millions of men, women, and children in India, young and old, rich and poor, will look as if they all plunged into a gigantic tub of multicolored paints.

Here I am, and my older daughter is the one
drenched in paint, on the left.
Holi 2010
As I sat at the diplomatic warehouse where expatriates buy their liquor (unlawful in Bangladesh), waiting for the clerk there to enter the items in his computer, I noticed pictures of Hindu gods under the glass top of his desk. Dare I ask him whether he's Hindu ? He might have been siting at someone else's desk. But then, I saw a red thread wrapped around his wrist.
"Is this your desk?" I finally asked.
"Yes," he answered, looking up at me, clearly puzzled by my question.
"Are you Hindu?"
This time, he seemed astonished. "Yes, I am."
I gave him my brightest smile. "Happy Holi."
There was a long silence. "How do you know about Holi?" he asked after a few seconds. I'd had time to sign my cheque.
When I told him, he relaxed, visibly, and told me that they celebrated Holi yesterday, at some open area close to the airport. But his hair had no trace of colors, nor did his skin. Quite different from India, where you see people with purple, bright pink or green hair or patches of skin for up to two weeks, afterward.

My younger daughter with one of her friends - Holi 2010
Still, I felt happy to have connected with someone who knows about Holi. On the way back, I was caught in the usual traffic, and I was trying to think of ways we could celebrate Holi with the girls. But where? I don't imagine our landlord or the people working in our building, all Muslims, would like it if we started throwing colored powders at each other, my daughters and I, in the narrow patch of grass in front of our building. I was thinking I could welcome them each with powders in my hands, and spread some on their faces when they walk in, this afternoon. Or maybe we could hold a Holi session locked in a bathroom. Mm...

For a crash course in playing Holi, or just a walk down memory lane, here is the link to my post, last year.

HAPPY HOLI EVERYONE, whether you're in India or not...