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Holi splashes Delhi with colours


New Delhi : Delhi was drenched in a multitude of colours as people Thursday celebrated Holi by smearing gulal on each other, spraying coloured water, dancing to music and distributing sweets.

Small bands of children, armed with pichkaris filled with coloured water, sprayed unwary passersby with coloured water and ran away, shouting ‘Holi hai!'(It’s Holi!).

Celebrations began early morning in the national capital, with squeals of laughter echoing from various households as the young and old alike splashed colour on each other.

In crowded urban pockets, the celebrations were more robust. Large bands of revellers, armed with coloured water — deep purple, black and green — smeared anyone they came across with colour.

People also thronged local temples and prayed for harmony and prosperity. “On Holi, we pray to Lord Krishna to bless not only us but everyone with happiness and prosperity,” Ranjan Gupta told IANS. The 25-year-old government employee prayed at a south Delhi temple with his wife.

It was late afternoon before revellers’ pichkaris and gulal were replaced by plates full of delicacies to celebrate the onset of spring.

Sweets, especially the traditional gujiyas, were the order of the day as people exchanged them and greeted each other. The more adventurous downed thandai (cold drink)laced with bhang to add zest to their celebrations.

Usually, Holi morning’s celebrations are followed by a community meal where the people come together and forget old animosities.

The Chinese pichkaris, with their innovative shapes and design, were the biggest hit among children. From a two-inch water-pistol to a huge water cannon having its own tank, the Chinese toys were clearly the flavour of the day.

Abhinav, 11, had tucked his shirt in his knickers and had stuffed the shirt with balloons filled with coloured water. Ruffled hair full of gulal and clothes drenched in pink and purple, he looked the posterboy of Holi.

“I will colour everyone with them,” he said when asked about the balloons stuffed in his shirt.

More and more people opted for herbal and organic colours for a safe and skin-friendly Holi.

Traffic police kept a close eye on errant motorists to check violations like drunk driving.

Early in the morning, commuters faced some problems due to limited options for travel. Only a few autorickshaws were available. Public transport buses and metro started service later in the afternoon.

Some revellers, who played with colours on Holi-eve, especially office-goers, faced trouble going home as the metro security guards reportedly denied entry to the more extreme cases. The guards cited safety concerns as the reason.

“It’s difficult to recognise people if they have too much colour on their faces. We told such people to either wash their face or leave the premises,” a security guard at Hauz Khas metro station told IANS.

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