How I Played Holi

It’s Holi morning! I want to play with the colors.
I pick up the packets of red and yellow powders.
And run with these to smear on my elder brother.
But he gets away as he can run much faster.

I think my baby sister would like to be colored pink.
So I walk to her small cradle, shouting, “Happy Holi!”
But I’m shooed away quickly by my grandmother,
Who said, “If only she was a little older, and I, a little younger!”

So then, I decide to spray the colors on my mother.
But she’s making sweets and should not be bothered.
Finally, I feel my father would surely celebrate with me.
So I search the house, but he’s at the market – shopping.

It’s the festival of colors. Who do I play with?!
Suddenly, I see Kanha in the prayer room beckoning.
I rush there and color His face with the gulaal.
No one saw it, but I played Holi with Nandlaal.

Musings on Holi

Bright yellow sunbeams
falling on green leaves.
Silvery bits of moon rays
on midnight-blue waves.

Crimson rose blossoms
in the white, winter snow.
Violet, indigo, blue, green
yellow, orange, red rainbows.

Dusty brown, winding trails
in the dark-olive, misty hills.
Pink and lavender shades
when the vermillion Sun sets.

Flame-like Gulmohar flowers
and saffron Tesu in summers –
Undoubtedly, all of these are
some of our favorite colors.

So this Holi – let it not be all
about playing with Gulaal,
but let us celebrate Nature
and everything that is Hers.

Holi – A Story

Spring arrives with a splash of colors
close on the heels of the cold winter
heralding the dawn of a special day
when everyone gathers to celebrate
the victory of the great Lord Vishnu
over the demon king, Hiranyakashipu,
who wanted to rule the three worlds
using the power from his five boons.
He couldn’t be killed during night or day,
in or out of the house, or in any place,
by weapon, man, God, demon or animal.
Yes, he thought he was all powerful.
And this evil king sent forth a decree
forcing people to pray to none but him.
Yet for his son, Prahalad, his ire grew
as he continued to worship Lord Vishnu.
So it was that the evil king conspired
and made arrangements for a huge pyre.
Into the flames, his sister, Holika, sat
holding her nephew Prahalad on her lap.
She, who flames could not destroy,
She, who tried to kill this little boy,
was burnt to ashes in that deadly fire
and Prahalad was the sole survivor.
At that auspicious moment of dusk,
a pillar shattered and from it emerged
Lord Vishnu in the form of Narsimha.
This half-man, half-lion celestial being
brought the end of the demon king.
Thus goes the legend of this day of Holi.
A day out of the pages of mythology.
So light the bonfires on the streets
and never forget what Holi means
The love of a God for his devotee
and the triumph of good over evil.

This Holi

Colour me blue this Holi.
Blue like the open skies.
Colour me yellow this Holi.
Yellow like the sunshine.

Colour me green this Holi.
Green like the leaves on trees.
Colour me orange this Holi.
Orange like the garden lilies.

Colour me red this Holi.
Red like the deepest love.
Colour me grey this Holi.
Grey like the clouds above.

Colour me with all the hues.
My soul is like white snow.
Come colour me this Holi.
And make me one with You.


He was like the egret on holi.
Unfazed by the music and colors.
Like the bhaang in the thandai,
he was the reason for the madness.

They swayed to his love songs –
men, women and children alike.
He stole their hearts and souls
with the music from his pipe.

They surrounded him on his way
screaming and shouting his name.
The fever raged through the day;
it showed no signs of abating.

Others accused him of sorcery,
and tried very hard to catch him.
But he escaped like the breeze,
for he was like the egret on holi.