While many love the Holi revelry, some prefer a more restrained celebration.
The festival of colourful revelry is all about responsible fun now. Celebs add their voice to this growing awareness and urge people to opt for organic colours, use water judiciously, curb use of loudspeakers.
Holi is a festival of colours. In ancient times, it was celebrated as a thanksgiving for a good harvest. Nowadays it’s celebrated as a festive day to meet others, play, laugh, forgive and forget, and repair strained relationships by applying coloured powder and water on each other. In recent times, people have become more environmentally responsible and celebrate Holi in a completely different way. Less number of buckets of water are used and organic colours are preferred.
While many love the Holi revelry, some prefer a more restrained celebration. “Well, honestly, I’m not much of a Holi person and have never enjoyed playing Holi, but in my childhood, I remember we used to collect the flowers which fell from trees and using the red and orange ones we would make a bucket of coloured water to play with,” says actress Saumya Tandon. She recalls that Holi primarily meant visiting each other’s homes and eating the lovely food the mothers would make. “When I came to the bigger cities, I realised the celebrations had become dirtier and violent. It was more about the rain dances and the DJ playing music. That is not the kind of Holi I like because I feel it disturbs a lot of people who may not want to indulge in playing Holi and that’s like intruding into their spaces. So I never enjoyed the loudspeakers in the colony as I feel it is a personal choice whether one wants to take part in it or not. When people come to my house on Holi, I use haldi and roli to put tika, so these are the two colours I use. Sometimes, we combine the green and red colours used in cooking with cornflour and water to make colour for my sister’s kids and friends’ kids to play with. That’s how we make colours. We use coconut oil on our hair and body so that the colours come off easily. Personally, I would never go to people’s houses unless I am very sure they want to play Holi,” she adds.
Actress Payal Ghosh feels it’s a good trend that people are now steering clear of Holi colours that have harmful chemicals and instead opting for dry and organic herbal colours. “I too prefer organic colours to play Holi with my friends and relatives, and make everyone aware that Holi can be safer and enjoyed responsibly without creating a nuisance of oneself. As far as the food and drinks go, it’s one time in the year when I opt for a glass of bhang and some sweets. But this year my Holi celebrations will be restricted to just some rituals to pay respect to the untimely passing away of Sridevi ma’am who was one of my idols,” she says.
Holi is all about fun and frolic but one must be responsible in the way one celebrates it, feels Balraj, actor, anchor and stand-up comedian. He adds, “I always celebrate with family and friends and stick to organic colours, preferably just gulal. One must also look at the amount of water wasted on Holi and that is increasingly becoming a concern. I urge people to enjoy responsibly and stick to organic colours and preserve water.”
Holi has always been actress Raveena Tandon’s favourite festival. “I love the music and dancing that go with it. I have fantastic memories of Holi as a child with my parents and family, now I look forward to it with my kids. My request to all is to refrain from using chemically-treated colours, and opt for organic colours so that it doesn’t harm anyone.”