Holi - Hindu rite of spring, the festival of colors. Tweets from India remind me it's already Holi there! Time to indulge in some favorite Holi songs from Bollywood since there's nobody around here in Southern Oregon (as far as I know) throwing colors. Will enjoy podcasts from Curry Smugglers though. And will share a memory from my olden days.
It was 1967 and I was just returning from a long trip around India with a boyfriend, by second and third class train mostly, and because of a delay didn't make it back home before the day all well behaved girls were warned not to go outside. (Not that I was that well behaved anymore by then...) So I arrived back in Delhi on Holi instead of the day before. Hoping to make a dash for my father's house in Nizamuddin East from the train station without being caught by the ruffians I'd been warned against, I got off the train and was met immediately by something like the scene above. Well, you can imagine the glee with which the mob met the sight of a young gori like me getting off the train in pristine jeans and white kurta!
Oh, boy! Oh, joy! They lost no time in transforming my wardrobe - and face, hair, and any exposed skin - into something truly resplendent; pink and blue were the predominant colors. It was all in good spirited fun and I laughed my head off, even if I didn't have anything to throw back at them! Since those were the Sixties, and I returned some months later to a US deeply into psychedelic colors, my Holi jeans and shirt remained my most treasured outfit until, after many washings, they finally faded and wore out.
(pictures from Wikipedia; upper, street scene from Rajasthan; lower, students from Kerala)
Here are some of my favorite Bollywood Holi songs. Click on the links to view in YouTube:
Holi Ke Din from Sholay ...
And this one from Darr, which shows a middle class family celebrating a relatively well-behaved Holi (but their party's infiltrated by a stalker, played by SRK, on drums).
And below, I just came upon some wonderful photos and captions from the Guardian. This is a priest celebrating the day.