Ever since I heard that Holi was on the fifth of March this year I have been excited. I actually pre-organized my treks and my flight to Nepal around my desperate want to experience Holi. So to say that I was excited was an understatement. I was literally like a five year old kid on Christmas.
I got up in the morning, put on my white t-shirt and my blue and white elephant pants from Thailand and headed downstairs in the hostel to get my breakfast and see the gang. I was sitting on the balcony when the first water bomb was thrown by the kids next door from the rooftop. I started laughing and then joined back in. We started to throw water bombs back but they had the height advantage so it was a little more difficult for us. The hostel staff gave me my first colour in the form of a blessing on my forehead and then I started out down the road to meet the local family I was spending Holi with.
When I arrived in the neighbourhood I had no idea where I was going. I started asking around the locals and they pointed me in the right direction. Once I found where I was going I met up with the family and headed out with one of the boys to explore the neighbourhood. Apparently the locals had heard I was coming and I was a wanted target. I met many groups of kids with water bombs and buckets of water and all of them seemed to be coming my way. I was laughing hysterically and having the best time of it.
We eventually wound up at one of the neighbours houses on the roof. I am drowned in water and covered in some colour at this point and the war from the rooftops was about to begin. There was a lone kid on the adjacent roof and he was appearing hard to hit. A cheeky and wiry kid. He got some pretty decent shots in on us too.
After eating lunch, we continued to explore the streets and get bombarded with more water bombs and colour before the massive rooftop war between three houses began down the road. I was half stung on a bottle of red wine that they fed me at breakfast so my aim was terrible but I managed to get a few good shots in on unsuspecting neighbours reading newspapers and then when the plastic bags to put the water in ran out, we all danced Nepali dance on the rooftops for an hour before heading downtown to Thamel.
Thamel was craziness. There were tourists and locals everywhere walking around throwing colour everywhere. Given how wet I was from the massive water fight the colour stuck to me like glue. I was a rainbow of pink, purple, blue, orange, green and yellow powders that eventually covered me to a point of unrecognizable. People would take the colour in their hands and wipe it over your face saying ‘Happy Holi’ in a blessing. By the end of the hour I spent in Thamel, I had it caked in my hair, my face was fluorescent pink and I was a total mess. But I had had the best fun I have had in my life. I even had colour in my teeth given that I ate so much of it while I was laughing.
Post washing, I still have colour in my hair, my face is still dyed pink and so is my hand and I have one yellow boob and one green one. Quite funny. Every time I look at my dyed skin I smile and remember. What a wonderful and fun celebration that allows people to be kids and just play for the day. If only more people would embrace and play every day in life.
I did think many times during the day back to when I was a kid and we would have birthday parties at the bike centre and my Dad would always play devil’s advocate and bring massive amounts of water bombs and water pistols and start up a massive war. It would always be every kid in the place against him, but he would get his own on most of them first before they would bail him up in the toilet and start pouring water over the toilet door. Parents would get mad because their kids would all be wet going home. But what is a bit of water? Especially when it creates so many smiles. The only thing that could have made my Holi better would have been having my family there. Given the amount of warfare we are used to with these fights as kids, the five of us would have been a formidable Holi force to be reckoned with!