Balam Pichkari : Ode to the most loved festival of India!

Aritra Das Sarma

Holi has evolved over the years. What was an ancient festival celebrating victory of good over evil became a festival celebrating love and joy. The Holi of our childhood is far different from the Holi we see now. We wore old clothes on the day of Holi back then. Pichkaris did not have much varieties. It was a privilege to get the jumbo Rocket. Water balloons and water guns multiplied our fun. We mainly played with our cousins and friends who lived in our neighbourhood. Nowadays right from housing societies to corporate offices ,all organise Holi parties. People wear new clothes and Holi Photoshoots take place to adorn social media with stunning DSLR pictures .The good part is many people are now celebrating the festival together. But the downside of it is that Holi in becoming glamourous has somewhere lost its old world charm. Previously home cooked delicacies were served and Lassi or Doodh Malai was everyone's favourite pick. Nowadays colourful mock tails have replaced that. And food is just a click away . In eastern part of the country, Holi also known as "Dol" is celebrated in worship of Lord Krishna and Radha. In Bengal its celebrated to mark the birth of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ,one of the greatest devotee of Lord Krishna. Holi is also celebrated with flowers in some places .In northern part of the country the festival of Holi symbolises victory of Good over Evil, of Lord Vishnu over Hiranyakashyap. Gulaal is the most basic ingredient of Holi. It is available in various shades. Nowadays Environmentalists are urging to play Holi with dry colours because water in huge amounts go wasted. Bollywood has also celebrated Holi in so many of its films. There are a number of quirky Holi songs to which one can move and groove. From "Rang Barse" to "Balam Pichkari",the depiction of Holi in films have grown so much. There are amazing Holi delicacies like Thandai,Kheer ,Gujiya, Bhang Laddoo,Ras Malai ,Barfi ,Phirni,Malpua ,Namak Pade to give your taste buds their share of joy. Play Holi with your friends and family. Make sure its a safe Holi. Nobody is forced to play and nobody is spraying colours to poor animals. Forgetting all past trifles, keeping aside all clashes and arguments , play Holi with all and sundry . This Holi Celebrate, love, friendship and universal harmony with colours! Happy Holi in advance ! Much Love !