The Holi celebration last week turned out to be a bonding time for all girls in our flat. Till then, me and RT shared a kinda hi-bye relationship with the rest of the girls. And on Holi, we just let down our guard and celebrated like a band of hooligans. I had almost lost hopes of celebrating Holi this year, since my Mom had come to stay with me for a week. My mom being the paranoid Mom that she is, warns me and RT about the colourful toxic chemicals choking our larynx, trachea, bronchi and all possible organs and about the deadly dermatological conditions that we may develop in the aftermath of Holi.

On the night of Holi, RT could no longer resist herself and returned from office wearing an evil grin and saches of colours overflowing her arms. She opened the door in a dramatic gesture and screamed, "Let 's play Holi girls !!!!!" I turned around to Mom and saw the ghastly expression on her face.

Mom: Are these natural colours or artificial? Where did you buy them from?
RT: Oh Aunty.. These are from roadside..Obviously some chemical...I got it cheap for 20 Rs
Mom had a priceless expression on her face
Mom: Heyyy!!!!! I will buy you natural colours tomorrow and you can play Holi then...
RT: But Aunty Holi is TODAY !!!!

By then the rest of the girls had joined in, all ready to celebrate. Mom couldn't tell anything and I took the silence for an Yes. (mounam sammatham) It was around 11 pm in the night. We debated on whether to celebrate on the roadside or on the terrace. Finally, taking into consideration our poor neighbourhood souls, we decided on terrace.. We created quite a ruckus on the terrace, screaming and attacking each other. I could feel the weird taste of colours stuffed into my mouth and even my ears were plugged with it.It was midnight and our laughter and screams reverberated the silent peaceful neighbourhood..A pack of street dogs were ferociously barking in front of our gate. Even our neighbour's friendly Alsation dog Tyson was going wild. We got phone calls from our worried house owner. Well, who had time to answer his calls. I must say our house owner is a cool dude. He didn't later enquire or make a fuss about our midnight escapade and we went on as if nothing had happened. And to add brownie points, the Holi brought all of us girls more close. We are bossom buddies now.

Two hours later, we were downstairs and pestering Mom.
RT: Aunty, can you click our pics pleaseeee????
Mom: NOOOO.. I will die of heart attack if I keep watching you
Me: Amma, can I hug you?????
Mom: @##$%%

At midnight, 3 baths and several scrubs later, I finally looked presentable.

Holi has always given me memorable moments. Two years before, in our office they arranged for celebrations at the rooftop cafeteria. Heaps of natural colours were kept at the counter along with sweets, snacks and unbelievably a vessel full of Bhang. We had a whale of a time. But there were a few scared lot, who went and locked themselves in the cafeteria restrooms.. Well, how long can they stay there.. When they ultimately came out, the tumultuous attack that awaited made them repent for being over-smart.

That year, at our PG, there was this this drama queen (DQ) who took bath and washed clothes only once in a blue moon. She shoves her dirty clothes into the cupboard and wears the same two days later after lavishly spraying the deodorant. At our wits end, when we enquire about this, the standard reply used to be "Oh, I took bath when you went out". Exasperated, I and N went on to plot a naughty scheme to break DQ's nonbathing spree. On the day of Holi, we thought it was the perfect time to execute our plan. We went and bought all possible colour saches. But at midnight we felt sorry for poor DQ and decided we won't drench her in coloured water but just smear the powder on her face and dress so that she is forced to take a bath. We attacked DQ with the powders at midnight and awaited with our fingers crossed. To our utter dismay, DQ just dusted off the powder from her clothes and went to the wash basin to wash off the colours from her face!!! "I will take bath tomorrow", she proclaimed. That was the final straw. We just went ahead and dissolved the colours in big jars of water and poured it directly over her head. For DQ, there was no option but to sulkingly go and take bath at midnight.. Phew...What a satisfying way to celebrate Holi!!!!