A (Secret) Letter to my Beloved: Holi with YOU

In the ancient days this is how I played Holi with you …

You were waiting for me in a blazingly lit timeworn quadrate greyish structure of stones which had four pillars to its flanks and a banyan tree on its heart, which breached its way out of the roof with only its sturdy bark at the centre.

The pillars of the structure were skilfully chiselled with carvings of sunflowers, its floor was unadorned with faintly visible images of pink lotus flowers to layer the entire surface, its roof was high but uniform with carvings of rose flowers chiselled all over, and two sheets of steps encircled the structure at its base, it was a cosy place in the summer’s and it stood in middle of the meadows.

I scanned you while swaying from interior of the meadows – your back leaning on the bark of the banyan tree; with folded arms you stood bare-chested in a plain white, crisp cotton dhoti (a long cloth wrapped around the waist and the legs, knotted at the waist).You smiled nastily when you saw me gradually proceeding towards you. You drew your hand towards your ear to gesture that you are listening to the sound of my arresting silver payals (anklets) …

…  and then  you  whistled audibly to specify I was looking gorgeous in a plain, murky red, cotton ghagra choli ( long pleated skirt  with midriff-baring blouse) with one of the dupatta’s (a ​long stole)  edge  tugged  clumsily  to the side of the ghagra and another balanced sloppily on my right shoulder, with my log hair tied in a plait  and a small black bindi (a ​small ​coloured mark) clear on  the centre of my forehead, a delicate silver nath (nose ring) which gleamed and small silver jhumkas ( conical dome shaped earnings ) which quietly bounced with every  impatient leap I took to come close to you.

In one hand I held a pichkari (water pistol) and in the other I held three small cloth bags containing colour powders. When I stomped inside the structure, you laughed unashamedly and it melodiously boomed inside the unruffled structure, you majestically placed your hands on your hips and said, “चल मुझे रंग लका” (c’mon colour me).

 At first, I took the pichkari and sprayed water fragrant with the yellowishorange colour of Dhak (Butea monosperma) and you tempestuously moaned, “Mmmm” and opened your damp eyelids to spot me. 

 I seductively sauntered towards you, as your impatient eyes scanned me. I stood slightly fondling your body and mildly applied your lust filled expressive face with the yellow of Turmeric powder. With the colour olive green of Neem powder I began to colour you by smoothly touching you over your chest … your belly … then rotating my hands upwards to your shoulders … your arms … until I reached your palms, then hugging you I coloured your back and you fondly planted a kiss on my forehead. Then you  respectfully half-kneeled in front of me stretching your arms wide and  gently bowed your head, and I drizzled you with the colour red of Kumkuma (turmeric powdered with a bit of slaked lime) …

…  And I laughed to say, “होली मुबारक”   (Happy Holi).  You were glowing in colour; you swayed yourself and thundered with a sneaky smile, “अब तुम भागकर कैसे जाओगे” (Get ready Dear!) and vehemently pulled me towards you as I was about to flee. When you saw me agreeably smiling at you, you brushed your coloured body with mine …

And this is how you play Holi with me.

Holi is a spring festival, a festival of colours, a festival of sharing love where partakers colour each other with dry powder and coloured water.


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