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.