Monday, April 8, 2013

Love, War and Holi.

Although it has been hot here for months, we ended March with a bang, a puff of color, and a bucket of water to celebrate the start of spring. Holi at AIC was, as always, a vibrant and rambunctious affair, although it was a little light on kids and heavy on didis/dadas this year. At the residential house, Ramu, Sonali, and Sangeeta Maushi played on the terrace with MK Didi, Judith Didi (visiting from Austria), and four of Judith’s friends. Between her deadly aim with a bucket and her complete lack of mercy with the pigments, Sonali held her own despite being outnumbered. More than one didi, including this one, was spitting rainbows from her teeth for the remainder of the day — but don’t feel too sorry, because Sonali was repaid in kind. Ramu enthusiastically deployed the water guns, but he proved a little more fastidious than expected about the color. While he loved throwing it at other people, he didn’t quite buy the idea of turnabout as fair play. He still ended the day sporting several different shades than when he started it, however. To repurpose an old saying, all’s fair in love, war, and Holi — or does Holi fall under war? (According to Sonali, it most definitely does.)

The Education Outreach Centre had two days off to mark the holiday, but it was a colorful week nonetheless. Pigments found their way to the centre and onto faces with no regard for exact dates, work to be done, or teacher prohibitions. The day after the festival, many of our kids (with the help of the unsung heroines, the maushis) were scrubbing for hours to remove dyes from their faces, hair, and bodies. And finally, the maushis themselves bombarded each other with a stubbornly persistent magenta color that stained their palms pink for days. All in all, it was a fittingly rowdy and bright start to the spring season, perfectly suited to our occasionally rowdy and always bright children.

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