Friday, March 22, 2013

The scary prospect of Holi approaching shortly


It's that time of the year again when I'm scared of all men. ALL. Including 6-7 year old kids (who could turn worse when they actually become men).
After two safe, unmolested years in Delhi, I was finally hit by water balloons this afternoon. Two in a day. Both by kids humming raucous Bollywood numbers and giving me a 'stare and keep standing at your own peril' kinda look. Certainly not funny. I don't find it, not a scintilla of it, to be 'in festive fervour'. Sorry dude, I'm not so sportive.
I have been way too lucky these two years, escaping being hit, by whiskers; my reflexes surprising me umpteen times a day just before Holi is in the air. I mean, it sort of strikes me as unusual. You know what I'm talking about if you live in this part of the country.


It's not like women don't play Holi. Many do. Many enjoy it. Some admit it to be their favorite festival. Playing with family and friends should be ok I guess, where getting wet in the middle of the road and feeling violated are out of the equation. Even if one plays with mud, egg yolk or you-know-what, as far as the woman has given her consent and is enjoying it, I believe it's alright. I mean, yeah, I admit, women too can and do enjoy Holi. But that in no way means, I should try to enjoy it too. I can't take the 'it's a Hindu festival, a gift of our culture, a time to let your hair down, forget everything and just soak in the colours and enjoy' argument. My body and my choices are my property. I decide what to enjoy and what not to, be it a festival or a party. The culture of my country doesn't get to decide that. And herein lies the problem. Though there's nothing inherently misogynistic in Holi, people have made it so by forcing it upon the lesser mortals (women walking on roads or on rickshaws) who for some or the other reason fail to enjoy it. The festival gives one the license, in the name of culture and having-fun and stuff, to engage in molestation.
Yeah, I call it molestation.
Modesty is a subjective issue and being made wet in the middle of the road does enrage me and does outrage my modesty. It might be innocent fun for others. For me, it's not. And for the nth time I repeat, I hate Holi.



I've been criticized for criticizing Holi as anti-women. I can't be criticized anymore of exaggerating things. I had a first hand experience of the 'fun' today. One gotta be a woman, walking on Delhi roads, with quick steps and heart racing even in the daytime, to know what I'm talking about. And if you don't understand, keep good distance. Defending Holi is waxing eloquence on hidden misogyny and more importantly, I'm not in the mood to take in any more shit.

17 comments:

  1. It is not about Delhi only, You could have this 'fun' anywhere. Hooligans, masked behind colours, stalking and molesting women in the name of Holi.

    Such an innocent excuse for devious acts. I certainly never venture out of my home on Holi.

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    1. Indeed it's an innocent excuse for all sorts of devious acts.

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  2. I am scared of people covered with holi too,and what's worst they just don't throw colors these days, 'eggs' have become one of their favorite ideas of fun!. Imagine being hit by an egg uggh!

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    1. I know. Have heard from a few people who have actually been hit by eggs. No words for such great ways of having fun.

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  3. Not in Delhi , Not in Mumbai , even in my Society where I stay well to do, cultured people molest women in the name of Holi . It is like an opportunity for them . And it is everyhwere in India .

    Travel India

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  4. Well said Sudha,i have seen men molesting women in the name of this festival-i just hate it.

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  5. I totally agree sudha ji... U know... I come from a profession , which pepl usually address as noble... But...I don't remember a single holi in more than 10 years in this profession...whr I look back n don't get scared...
    Infact, before entering this field , when I used to fear holi ( coz I had no non scary of memories of childhood holi also )..my parents used to assure me..sayin...no men cn dare to touch in d name of holi once u add this prefix to ur name...
    But...honestly...even now...I get alarmed,my heart beat races,if I hv an emergency duty on or around holi...coz...no matter wat I'm, I still face,filthy grins of men,tryin to color me..
    Nothin has changed ,since wen I used to badly fear coming back from school in a rickshaw a day before holi...
    Or even now..wen I hv to call my driver just in front of d hospital gate,coz , I even fear goin to parking.. I recall n recheck with him twice thrice wid him,if he s exactly on d gate ?...r thr any men with colors in hands ?...
    I still am in a dilemma...I hate dis holi more...or is it this fear holi has incorporated in me ,dat I hate more...

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    1. what a great reply Ma'am ji.."I hate dis holi more... or is it this fear holi has incorporated in me ,dat I hate more...". the fear that cant be resolved turns into hatred.how easily have we found our way to cope with the impotency by turning it to hatred.isnt it?

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    2. This defense mechanism is very much human. Without it, we would have a hard time dealing with our helplessness, no matter how unappealing it sounds.

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  6. am from andhra pradesh,i never heard of holi or ganesh immersion in such a grand way in interiors of my state.this is totally north indian approach towards culture.i never played holi and i came to know what holi is only after coming to hyderabad for my studies.is n't holi and ganesh immersion a party culture to make money and to advertise themselves.i felt holi really silly after coming to hyderabad.even on ganesh immersion day people get drunk and throw marigold flowers on girls and women during procession.modern india got remixed culture to satisfy opportunists.

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    Replies
    1. Indeed our great culture has been remixed as you say to meet the rising consumerism by opportunists.

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  7. I fully agree with your observations in this article.

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