March 27th, 2013
The Hindu “Festival of Colours” is back again. I thoroughly enjoyed this holiday last year with my Swedish neighbour Martin. This year I was flying solo but it didn't take long for me to find the action, actually it was a bit early, I wasn't ready yet! I had planned to buy a nice white shirt, write “Happy Holi” in Hindi on the back and front and then venture out for the colour revelry. Before I even got down to the path from my place, I was plastered with bright green, yellow and blue colours on my face, in my hair and on my shirt. I had encountered a group comprised of the local shop keepers and the restaurant and guesthouse workers. They were all smiling from ear to ear and fully into the celebration and it was not yet 11am. It’s like Christmas for them.
I purchased a long sleeved, V neck shirt (for 200 rupees...under $4) and stealthily made my way back home to prepare my shirt. As I wrote out the Hindi on my shirt I could see the group of partiers making their way from guesthouse to guesthouse along the cliff, working their way towards my room. I hastily finished my shirt and was a bit surprised when they didn't actually come by my place. No biggie, it was very easy to find them thanks to the banging drums.
This is the damage just coming home from buying the shirt:
Okay, now I'm ready to go:
My shirt was a hit and I had many Indians laughing and yelling out “Happy Holi!” as they pointed at it. Needless to say, it didn’t stay white for long, but that was the whole intention. Some of the guys who know me gave me some green coloured powder so that I could join in the action as the group slowly meandered along the path throwing powder and squirting water guns (with coloured water of course) at anyone and everyone, well almost everyone, there were a few scrooges.
This guy was the rock star. He's a baba with a small stall with chess sets, incense and various smoking paraphernalia I think this is his favourite day of the year!
On the right is Raul, one of the managers of where I'm staying (and the one who bought me beer):
I loved this kids colours:
Commando Raul firing his salvo:
The now "Blue Baba":
After an hour or so we eventually made it around to the main beach, did a little dancing in the sand to the bongos and then I headed back to my place, grabbed some money which I had forgotten (thanks Raul for buying me a few beers over the last hour since I was rupeeless) and then headed to Sweet Lake to celebrate with the guys I know over there. Then back to my place and on to the Olive Garden restaurant for the late afternoon before returning home for a quiet evening (I was “Holied” out but additionally most festivities had ceased).
I look like some evil superhero I think...
This is Dasme, a good friend in the Dolphin's View restaurant on Sweet Lake Beach:
Mid afternoon status:
With Sanju, the best tandoori cook on the beach, at the Olive Garden:
Ramesh, Juan and Ram...what can I say?
Even Gizmo got into the act:
Just like last year, I was amazed by how happy and friendly everyone is on Holi...it’s just too bad we’re not all like that every day! Happy Holi!!!