As a child, Holi was the festival that I would eagerly wait for every year. The colours had to be dissolved in water, the buckets filled with coloured water had to be taken outside and then began the crazy session of applying colour on each other using pichkari(spray or water gun). We had to be literally dragged back home somewhere in the late afternoon after countless requests fell flat on the deaf ears. By then we had so many layers of colours that our faces would have gone beyond recognition. The bigger challenge was for the parents to scrub those colours off the skin. Normally it took a couple of days or more to get back to our natural skin colour. But that enthusiasm filled childhood made us run out with abir/gulal(coloured powder) in the evening again. Yet we had been carefully taught not to apply colour on anyone who refused to be a part of the festival. The concept of consent had been cautiously inculcated within us.
Last ten days have been crazy for me. Moving back to Kolkata with an unwell toddler was not only physically exhausting but it drained me out of all the energy and enthusiasm. While he’s still riding on a sinusoidal wave of recovery and sickness again, I feel amazed at my late mother’s ability to maintain calmness and sanity while dealing with similar situations during my childhood. But amidst such turbulence in personal life, I couldn’t help but notice the incidents that have created a havoc in the world for the past few days.