The flip side of Holi

The flip side of Holi

Haven’t you heard that Holi can break the ice between even longstanding enemies! This festival of colours normally brings with it an aura of friendliness.

Some people, however, are bent on changing that. They are hell-bent on adding a note of sourness, even crudeness, to Holi. Each year, during Holi, the women in Delhi worry. They fear the ‘attack’ on roads – when strangers throw water balloons, colour water, eggs and tomatoes at them.

Metrolife talks to girls who share their horror stories.

Naina Sharma, a professional, recalls the day when she walked down a road near her residence after the Holi celebrations were over. “It was evening. I had to buy something at the local grocery shop. All of a sudden, someone threw an egg at me.

It hit my ear. For a moment I thought someone had slapped me. My hair was a gooey mess. That’s when I noticed a group of boys laughing in a car that was moving. Laughing at my discomfort. Then they disappeared,” she says.

The idea of throwing water balloons, eggs and other things at people days before the festival begins is not uncommon. Kiran Chandra, who studies in DU and lives in PG accommodation, says, “A group of boys who live close to my building, threw egg on my back. Besides ruining my clothes, my back hurt. The pain lasted a few days.

Really I don’t understand the idea that celebrations can be synonymous with making fun of others, throwing stuff at them, not bothering if it harms them or not. I haven’t seen anything like this anywhere else.”

Such incidents appear to be common in areas particularly near colleges. Though the police claim to step up security as the festival draws near, there’s hardly any action that’s taken against persons who throw water balloons and eggs – acts that are not considered serious.

Pradeep Kumar, SHO of Maurice Nagar Police Station, under which the DU’s north campus falls, says additional pickets are deployed on vulnerable and abandoned roads of the campus until the festival is over. He says, “Besides, plainclothes police officers are also deputed in selected places. These are precautionary measures. There’s been a decrease in such incidents.” But not everyone is convinced.

Priya Mukherjee, a professional, narrates her friend’s recent experience. The police ignored a complaint against a group of mischievous boys who threw colour water at her from their car. “She informed the police who were present at the spot but they did nothing. They don’t take such incidents seriously until something really serious happens. This is why I avoid going out at this time; I wait till it’s all over,” she says.

Ankita Mahesh, a student, says, “I carry an umbrella every day without fail as a weapon. Once a water balloon hit me when I was travelling in a DTC bus. What if it hits somebody’s eye or ear? Then there are people who throw buckets of colour water in tall buildings on those who live on the lower floors.”

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