3.14.2018

The Festival of Colour: This Is How We had Celebrated Holi In Our Hometown




Morning Babble

I woke up in the early morning and heard the babble of boys through an opened window of my room, saw them running with a bottle of watercolour. Crying loud, whispering in ears, going secretly behind back and throwing a bucket of water or with a sprinkler machine. I came out and glared at those happy faces. I remember it was at morning 9 am, my wife came out and saw me standing on the road and watching them with a camera in my hand. I was smiling at them to click a perfect picture.
Quickly made me go back to my childhood memories and recalled a day when I was in 4th grade and it was in my village. I could see myself back living that day. Those days I used to play this colour of the festival from the morning and finish it in late afternoon non-stop. Sometimes cruel boys of our age used to have a drink and those drinks were made up by villagers and very powerful and called it Desi Daru. I was not the part of those bad boys.




Bad People

Many times the situations had been made worse and fight unnecessary with the strangers, eating non-veg food and at the end going to the river for a bath. We used to be a group of five-ten boys who never had done those naughty things except two-three. The villagers are more prone to such activities and commit a crime on that day like abusing women and shout loud in the society without a reason. I could see police duty on that particular day.



An Incident Happened To Me

I will tell you what had happened to me one of those days on the day of the festival of the colour – Holi. Our village is much closer to the main city called Wardha, district and most of the people come to our village on that festival for swimming and some of those sit on the bank of the river, on the sand with snacks, including salted peanuts, wafers and roasted pea and without missing carrying a bottle of Whiskey. Some of our team used to go near them and join for the sake of a drink. I could only do was watch them and smile. Few we had found a jolly kind and quick mix with others too. But about me, I was shy and hesitate at first on offering something to eat.




In The Hot Sun

It was noon, all day we had spent in the village roaming at the friend's house with an empty stomach. We had only snacks sometimes, just a bit. When we have arrived on the river bank, all are astonished looking at the clean and huge water. A few days ago, the river was half empty and the stones beneath the water were opened and dried exposing green and dry algae. But we became happier when we saw few boys and girls from the nearest city were still playing Holi leaving their bikes on the roadside, there were a lot of giggles, running and laughing. There was a group of men who were sitting on another edge of the river, they all five were almost drunken.


Local Gangs: Nobody Challenge us

We made our move to the square near the still water, it was our famous place for swimming. We had no fears of those men at the end we were villagers and nobody could dare to say do not swim here or like that. Two from our group were strong and well build and they ever ready or no fears fall into an argument with anyone.

We went ahead and crossed the small bridge. It was mostly used by bullock cart. On the bridge, few of them were jumping into the river. But it was dangerous when there is a low water level, there was a bed of sharp edge rocks and could damage any part of the body if jump.
We stopped there, villagers knew the exact location of the rock bed, on the right there was deep water and very easy for swimmers. The water was more than 12 feet and I was tall not more 4.5’ few of my friends jumped in with all the dirty and colourful clothes one by one. I was watching them sitting on the bridge, I was a poor swimmer, I was afraid of the water too much though I like swimming. I could swim into the water of my chest level or not more than above my neck.

Adventure First Time: Learned Swimming

The distance of the river area, the other site from I was sitting was not more than 35 feet, in two breathes if I jump and swim I could come out of the danger zone, I had thought. In minutes all of my friends had jumped in, few have already reached the other end and applied soap over the body to remove
the colour and few were still swimming. They were a continuous swimmer and I was a rare one who hardly gets once or twice time in a month for swimming. My father was not allowing me to go to the river every weekend.
I wanted to jump but I couldn’t dare to, my breathing was fast pulsating every beat with a fear in my eyes. Every time there was a thought of giving up in the middle of the way and it was obvious and I had no experience. But I was damn sure if I jump I could cross 35 feet distance in two breathes, I was sure about it.

My friends were calling me urging me to jump, the bridge was open and people were walking, sometimes bullock cart was passing or sometimes farmers were crossing the bridge and the width of the bridge was not more than 15 feet. It was made up of solid rock and on either side alternately rock of one foot was standing. It was a support for me to access me lean forward into the river. The water was just five feet far down from my reach.

Suddenly someone stood behind me and I don’t know. He was a drunken man in his 40’s I was watching my friends swimming. My friend’s clothes were laid on the bridge beside me and their slippers on it, just to avoid flying in the air. The person who was standing behind me pushed me with his full force and
giggled. My breaths locked, hearth started jumping working hard, in that few seconds I took a breath in with all the power I had and hold it in my empty hungry stomach. And another second I was in the water, for a moment I thought I am going to die now, I don’t know swimming.

One thing I had to do was keep myself calm and a concentration to focus what I had to do. Only a thing was left for me, do or die. I was not sure if my friends will come and help me. Everything I had to decide and I composed it all in the third second. I closed my eyes and keep swimming in an all the possible way, I had only one aim – reach to the other end as soon as possible.
I was running out of my breath and soon I had to take another one. I opened my eyes and only saw blue sky and took a breath in and closed the eyes. I did not stop and another second I realized I came to the water of knee height. A smile came to my face and I opened the eyes again and
stopped swimming touched my feet on the ground and turned back.

I Wore Fears

I couldn’t believe that I would swim well and all the fears inside of me died and took some time to relax and again did the same – went to the bridge and jump into the river and swim. I had made it four times and me at last learned swimming.