Friday, March 17, 2006

Holi Crap!

This photo appeared in Hindustan Times on March 14, 2006, released by PTI, taken somewhere in Gujarat during Holi celebrations. For some it may seem to be the efficient artwork of an unknown photographer who successfully captured the essence of Holi in all its vividness using his camera. But for a few it may seem to be the colorful flare-up of immorality unknowingly captured by the photographer, unnoticed by PTI and inadvertently published by the newspaper. After all it’s Holi. It’s a religious festival. Its fun! And no one has ever defined the boundaries of fun. So what if some had gone for a six!

Post-Navaratri abortions’ (a rise in the number of abortions past Navaratri celebrations) were something which was a serious concern to the officials till recently. But this year the number of abortions came down drastically, only subsequent to a ‘25 ~ 50%’ increase in the sales of condoms during Navaratri period. Well, people are more aware of ‘such’ things these days. TOI also says, If this is not enough, volunteers deployed by NGOs at garba venues are only waiting to hand you that free sachet tied with a 'red ribbon' to drive the message of safe-sex, right home. In fact, this is the first time that HIV volunteers have put up stalls inside garba venues where they don't mind handing out a condom along with those leaflets. Can't quite believe that this happens in a religious festival!

Reading these somewhere it feels that religion and religious practices had turned to nothing but a meager wrapping to depravity. Donno when the self proclaimed moral police of India, cosseted under the umbrella brand of the leading political party would realize these things in their spree to deport Valentines Day celebrations from India. After all it happens only in India, where irony has become nothing but a buzz word these days!


Sreejith Narayanan said...

yeah very true...
irony is getting pretty much run of the mill thing these days...
one side you see some kind of barbaric activities where if you are spotted with a person of the other sex, chatting on a park bench, the eye brows of the so called law enforcers are raised, and action is taken.

On the other side, people get to see atrocious (?) photos, of some celebrity/ cosmopolitans partying, where are the law enforcers then?


>|' ; '| said...

blank noise bloagthon n now this..

>|' ; '| said...

kya yeh hai india?

silverine said...

Thank God here in the South Holi is mostly played by the Northies and they dont dare molest passers by in the name of Holi. But in some areas like Avenue Road which has a large population of traders from Rajasthan, unsavory incidents like pouring color over a TV reporter and tearing her clothes were reported. Two foreigners were also dragged out of an auto and molested. But then this is OK as per the moral police beacuse "it is our culture".

Geo said...

Good one da...

I still remember how holi used to be a nightmare for at least some of our college girls...

lost optimist..^!^ said...

shocking!!what a shame, india-the land of ironies..huh..ive never heard bout the navaratri issue..truly shocking!

W-Bix said...

i HATE ABHORR celebrating holi in India. Couple of assholes molested me and my sis when we were in india on Holi day.

when they fucking apologized, they had the excuse of being high on what not shit.

grrr sorry for thr expletives

W-Bix said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
W-Bix said...

from the pic, sounds tht them ppl, girls and guys knew what they were in for. if no one is complaining why is tht pic there...

someone studying the shifting values??

aria said...

Well agreed that some ppl do try to molest in the name of Holi - but as far as the pic is concerned - I don't see anything wrong there coz everyone is all smiles.
I saw a blog the other day where someone posted pics of Holi being celebrated in her college even in USA. There were so many shots on news channels here - of foreigners enjoying Holi celebrations in India n even advocating this festival shud be celebrated in their own respective countries. So I don't understand why we make such an issue abt Valentines day celebration here. If Holi is celebrated in the right spirit it can be fun. So it doesnt mean that Northies or southies (whoever!) - who celebrate it keep molesting everywhere. I'm sure you didn't mean tht either in your post. I don't have any bad memories associated with Holi .. we had fun in school college wherever we celebrated it - maybe I was in good company.
Very nice post - lots of thing tht can be debated here. Post navrati abortion etc were informative - I hadn't heard of it before.

Venkatraman said...

~aria: This is very much an aryan festival and nothing to do with us dravidians. In the south we like to beat the holi revellers to pulp if they act like in their hometowns here. So mostly they behave themselves and play holi amongst themselves. They had better restrict their festivals to their part of the country.

Anand K said...

Holi was never a big deal in my home state.... it was just a news item in the english dailies or a Bollywood scene where disaster strikes right after the festivities have ended. (Just like a Tarantino movie when a character goes to the loo... Kill Bill-1, Pulp Fiction, True Romance, Dusk Till Dawn). I usually take the "North-South divide" argument with a barrel of salt, but as far as festivities are concerned the folks North of erstwhile Vijayanagar empire are BIG TIME Gung-Hos compared to us "Madrasis". Even the way the marriage ceremonies are conducted show huge differences... Northern weddings feature loud Karan Joharesque song-n-dance, baarats and all that jazz while weddings down here are more cerebral and serious. In fact some communities in Kerala get the pair to fast a few days till marriage.... and advise them to go on a pilgrimage right after the wedding. (Some honeymoon, eh? :P) I've had pals telling me Mallu/Tam weddings are too boring and there's the missing element of fun and community-enjoyment that's necessary for a wedding ceremony.

Ironically, it was in the US that I first encountered these "differences". Holi in the large Desi community of US was my first taste at the real thing. Now I am in Delhi and Holi 2006 was a real culture shock... I just peeked out of my door and the girls living upstairs carpet-bombed me with a shower of water-bombs, little sardarji runts dragged me outside and sprayed me with colored water and one of them fr1ggin hosed me! Not to mention the random people I met on the way to the dabba showering me with 32 different shades, thrusting sweets into my mouth till I looked like the amazing multicolor technicolor coat. And this was undiscriminating...everyone gets a share. It ain't just lechs looking for a pretext to grope the hapless girls who comes their way.... of course there ARE some who harbor such intentions. I didn't enjoy all that smearing (even if it is by the pretty Kudis next door I just know by sight) and revellry 'coz it has no place in my heart, I wasn't born into that social realm, I don't have those memes.... and I am scared of getting rashes from the sometimes caustic colors. Maybe I'll enjoy a sober Onam sadya with my peer group better! But these people genuinely wantonly enjoy all this revellry and bawdiness, even if some odd pig tries to take advantage and spoil the mood. You either thrash him, ignore it or enjoy it(if he/she is so inclined) and get on with the festivities. I guess I can understand that.... if not identify with it.

Perhaps it's the tradition of the northern bacchanalian festivals like Vasantholsav and the mass community-intense festivals like Dipavali, Lohri, Dusshera, Kite flying festivals to the cattle-fairs of yore. OTOH, southern festivals like Onam are rather restrained and "private" or clan-family-peer based, Pongal is divided to males and females thru different aspects AFAIK, Jallikkettu is men only, Islamic and Christian festivals (religions which have had strong presence in S.India way before the Turks and the Europeans came) on the whole do not feature esoteric pagan practices.... These festivals were also designed as a platform for increasing community interactions and letting down your hair for some time, especially since the north faced higher socio-political instabilities and assorted invaders every other day. (I Dunno, its an explanation a sociologist pal gave me)

So, it's a culture thing right?
And about "licentious" behaviour during holy festivals.... well, that is a different issue with dimensions like westernisation, urbanisation, rising middle class, crumbling of "middle-class morals", globalisation, media assaults and exposes, effect on the youth, divide between "getting" and "getting-nots" as Greatbong observes.... and the basic nature of these festivals itself.
So, jeene Do. ;)

Geo said...

Our dear navi mumbai is burning right now, following an eve teasing incident which occurred on the holi day.

@Anonymus-who-chose-his-name-as-Venkataraman: Hey man, will ya pls stop doing such silly gimmicks? Coming up with an obvious south Indian name and putting an anonymous comment? Come out in the open with whatever you can call your identity and then say what you want to say. Don’t be afraid.

Its not about south Indians or north Indians. Its about the filthy uncontrollable vulgar desires of some sexually unsatisfied bastards.

venus said...

I grew up with playing holi with people I know, I never had any such filthy uncontrollable vulgar experience, but we rather had fun playing with family, cousins, and friends. I think one can choose whom to play with, if one's mind is full with such dirt. I have celebrated all so-called "northern bacchanalian festivals" with our innner circles and family only. I don't think it has anything to do with turks or christianity or hinduism or northen-southern divide. It's i think an individual choice, one can not generalize it for the wholecommunity just by watching some uncontrollable hostelites or singles.

Jithu said...

> sreejith
have gone thru that URL u gave. this is too much man. actually kind of fed up with such double standards of the some organizations as well as the judiciary.

> poison
ha ha. hw shud i reply to this!

> silverine
sad to know that such incidents happened there. who knows, the so called moral police wud also be a part of the extravaganza!

> geo
yes i remember that man.

and yeah i read that shocking incident happened in navi mumbai. three ppl were dead, a police station was attacked and the "celebration" is still on. all in the name of a festival which is supposed to generate harmony and equality among people, which is supposed to bring colorful smiles in the faces of people. god knows how many families are in tears and worries now, due to this "over-enthusiasm", this festival of color and fun!

> lost optimist
well, then this is not the end!

> wbix
its perfectly alright for the expletives. one feels good when they get a chance to vent out their feelings. i am happy that u shared ur experience. btw i am not commenting on the last thing u mentioned. reason being i am ignorant abt that to make an opinion myself.

> aria
agreed. if holi is celebrated in the right spirit, its fun. well i am definitely not against Holi or any such festivals. they bring ppl closer, generates harmony, absoultely no doubt about these. bt the thing is sometimes these celebrations cross the limits and even one such unpleasant incident can ruin the fun of an entire festival, however big it is. and we know that things like these happen. the pic is just a trigger for this post and is not on which the entire post is based on.

> venkataraman
taking the essence of what u said, yes, if someone is not interested in celebrating a particular festival, he or she shudnt be forced to take part in it. throwing water and color on a person who is not interested is totatlly uncalled for.

but also, i feel these things are something above a specific religion or a region and hence shud be completely unattributed for. these are done by a few maniacs and such maniacs are present in every religion and every region. they dont even require a religion to do such things. molestation can happen even in a packed bus, or a festival ground. holi is just a means of doing it.

> anand
tht was deluge of information that i got from ur comment. it made me think for a while before i comment on it. and i liked the way u conveyed ur point. again i guess it can be summed up as, if one doesnt want to celebrate it, then leave him alone. btw a small suggestion, why dont u expand all these to a nice article and blog it so that more ppl read it and comment their opinions on this? and yeah on a side note, quite happy to hear these from a CET product :-)

> venus
i agree to what u said. we can select the people with whom we want to celebrate festivals. bt the thing is man is a social animal. he has to interact with the society in his day to day life. a specific incident comes to my mind now. a few years back, in mumbai, on a holi day, i ws travelin back home from my office in a bus. i was sitting near the window and suddenly someone from outside threw a handful of colors on me. my shirt turned completely useless. the stain didnt go after repeated washes. i had to throw it away. i am ready to celebrate a festival, but not on the expense of my hard earned money. yes my company paid me very less that time. :-) but the point i want to make is yes, u can choose the people u want to celebrate such festivals. but the fact is things like this, which u cant even expect, can happen anytime.

Maya Cassis said...

yes,this year all of us were pretty terrified of Holi and stayed in.The photo shows why

venus said...

accidents do happen, i'd say. It's not just holi,it can also happen on any other regular day. being a girl, you don't know, in however much protected environment you grow up, you may not escape this social filth, it's life, not everything happens just as we want! all u can do is you don't do the same, and just let that incident go from your mind.

Chirikudukka said...

ewww i want to kick those guys right now...geez

MC said...

well, frankly, from the photo its difficult to say whether everyone was having fun or it was one way. but as long as everyone was having fun its cool i feel. but i totally agree holi shouldnt be a day to force yourself on anyone on the road, sadly this is exactly what happens. i have met people who plan in advance who they will target this holi! man!

true that religious events shouldnt be used as a platform for unruly fun. but on a larger plane, all these things happen because of hypocritic "rule" and "restrictions" imposed in our country. and thats why guys act like frustrated dogs when they see women. so first we ought to shoot those people who act as moral police and themselves indulge in the most immoral activities.

i absolutely agree with geo, in the end its got nothing to do with north or south, its just that we seem to be having a lot of cultureless and crude people in india.

CyberRowdy(Q8TechDrive) said...

pretty unfortunate that these kinda thing happens in our much hailed cultural capital india...

tangy said...

well! dats a great news :)

Anonymous said...

I think Holi is the sillest thing on earth, I don't know why people in Chennai get involved in it. It is not a Tamilian festival whoever made up holi should be shot.

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sushilsingh said...

Holi is one of the major festivals of India and is celebrated in almost every parts

with great fun and frolic. The joys of Holi know no bound. The festival is

celebrated across the four corners of India or rather across the globe. However,

each part of the country has its own way of celebrating Holi in a different way.

Let's have a look at how Holi is celebrated in different part of the country
Please Visit For More Detail

Anonymous said...

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Are you worried about the unsafe practices during Navratri? Please build some awareness amongst your friends, start with sending some rubber to your friends from

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