Lalu skips festivities

However, the revellers missed the “kurta phaad” (shirt-tearing) Holi at Lalu Prasad’s residence, as he did not celebrate it owing to a personal tragedy.

Lalu’s sister-in-law Marachiya Devi, wife of the RJD chief’s elder brother Mukund Rai, had passed away in January this year. Nitish too skipped the Holi celebrations as his mother Parmeshwari Devi had died on January 1 after a prolonged illness.

This was the fourth consecutive year when Nitish did not celebrate Holi.

In 2008, he skipped it as his wife Manju Sinha had passed away, and he was in mourning.

In 2009 and 2010, he announced not to celebrate Holi owing to the disaster caused by Kosi flood and drought respectively.

For Lalu Prasad, political success or failure has failed to dampen his Holi spirits.

For the last two decades, it has been an annual ritual for the colourful Lalu to hold a “kurta phaad” Holi in Patna, where the clothes of those visiting him would be torn and then the visitor thrown in the pool of mud and colour. A “mast” Lalu, with a drum around his neck, would then go on singing “chaita” (a folk song) and the gathering would join the chorus of “Jogira sa ra ra…”

Though it was a colourless Holi for the two colourful politicians, elsewhere, there was a riot of colours with people, cutting across caste and creed, smearing each other’s face with “gulal”.

Having played Holi, it was time for some delicious food. “Pua”, “pudi”, “dahi-bada”, and a wide range of non-vegetarian items were there at most of the places.

Drinks were there for those with no appetite. “Bhang” and “thandai” flowed like municipal water.

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