One of my favourite songs is the Amitabh classic, ‘Rang barse bheege chunarwaali’. It is rustic, earthy and raunchy. And having recently discovered that it was penned by the poet Harivanshrai Bachchan, I like it even more. The senior Bachchan was a national treasure of truly lofty stature. I had always known and loved his corpus of work, which includes such great poems as Agneepath, Madushaala and Chidhiya aur Churungun. All deep, intense, philosophical poetry with an almost militant revolutionary undertone. Who would have thought that this formidable Hindi pundit had such a naughty streak!
But I guess that is the very spirit of Holi, a festival for the letting down of hair (with bhang-fuelled bravado of the sort Amitabh displays in that song). Holi has always been proof for me that no matter how uptight and upright we pretend to be, we all have a wickedly fun-loving side to us. It can be seen in Bhojpuri poetry, in Punjabi wedding songs and, at times, even in sensually charged Sufi ballads! It is little wonder then, that at a time when nature herself is blossoming into spring, we add a dash of colour to our lives with Holi. Of course, Holi also represents the triumph of good over evil. But that needn’t be (and is not) a sombre or solemn celebration.
It is so much nicer that Holi is the festival of fun and frolic. Of pranks and passion. Of indiscretions and innuendo. Of comedy and colours. Colours that lift our spirits. Colours that transform everything in sight (including the Trueroots website).
May you never live in monochrome. Happy Holi.