When I was younger and still living in India, I always heard visitors from abroad talk about how 'colorful' everything seemed in India. Such a statement didn't make much sense to me at that point, but after having lived abroad for more than a decade now, I can see, and appreciate, that sentiment. From the minute you land in India, your eyes are hit by all kinds of hues and colors, and suddenly everything feels so alive and active. Add an Indian wedding to the mix, and you are in rainbow heaven! My recent trip back home last month gave me the privilege to not only soak in the colors and extravaganza of an Indian wedding, but also bear witness to the most colorful of Indian festivals, Holi, that celebrates the arrival of spring. People apply special colors meant for this 'Festival of Colors', specifically 'gulal' or 'rose pink', on each others faces. Of course, the color palette can extend to include reds, yellows, purples, and sometimes even black!
As a kid, playing Holi meant preparing water-filled balloons the previous night, and using them the next morning to throw (read attack) on your friends and neighbors. This was the day you were best friends with your otherwise annoying siblings, as you ganged up on other families around you. It was in fun, of course! The more cautious folks used a water pistol, or 'pitchkari', to spray the others. First the kids would gang up against each other, then when the parents would trickle down later in the day, the kids would gang up against the adults. It was fun to see the typically solemn looking neighborhood 'uncles and aunties' chill out and have fun. Back then, most fathers would not be as playful around their children, and it was a rare treat for us to see our dad being 'fun'.