PEOPLESPEAK: It’s Holi! Let’s drench all pedestrians

Three years ago, I was to go to Chandranigahapur to appear for an interview for a Medical Representative’s post. I set out from my house to catch a taxi. On the way, a gang of children clutching water-balloons and abir rushed towards me and smeared me with the colours. This happened so suddenly that I could do nothing in defence. I missed my flight that day and eventually could not appear for the interview.

— Sudip Subedi

I used to stay in a hostel during my schooldays. Once during Holi I hit a girl from my class with a water balloon. She started crying and straightaway went and complained our class teacher about the whole incident. As a punishment, the class teacher asked me to write a 5,000-word essay on Holi. I had to submit it the day after. I wrote it the entire day and night. I shall never forget that day.

— Samyam Mahat

The mere thought of Holi gives me goose bumps. There was a time when this particular festival used to be one of my favourite festivals, but last Holi changed my entire impression about it. It just happened that my sister had to go for an appendicitis operation a day before Holi. I went out to get some medicines, but as soon as I stepped out of the hospital a lola (water balloon) hit me in the eye, and soon there was a torrent of lolas hitting me from all directions. I couldn’t get the medicine for my sister, instead I had to go for a minor operation for my injured eye. All I can say is that I dread Holi and I want to request everyone stop this lolabazi.

— Tulika MD

A couple of days before Holi, I was waiting at the bus stop. To my shock I was hit by a lola that a kid who was not more than 5-6 years had thrown. I felt extremely embarrassed and didn’t know how to react. I couldn’t even think of scolding the child because he was too innocent to know his mistake. It was not his fault actually. He did just what his elders were doing.

— Nishant Shandilya, Baluwatar, Kathmandu

It was 2002 and I was running after my sweetheart to smear her face with colours. But while running to escape from me she stumbled on the pavement and hurt her face, which took more than a month to heal. Feeling very guilty, from that day onwards, I have completely given up playing Holi.

— Pranav Dhakal, Battisputali

Holi is a wonderful festival of colours, but everyone does not enjoy it. I was in Class VIII then and all my friends had planned to celebrate Holi together so we gathered at my friend’s house. On the way back, some boys who were completely drunk started following us. We were very nervous and ran as fast as we could but they caught us and tried to put colour on us but we escaped. Luckily, our friends came and took us home.

— Aneesha Bhattarai

My worst Holi experience was in the year 2062 because I didn’t have any friends or relatives. I brought one long pipe and went to the water tank, and then sprinkled the water on the empty road. Even my neighbours were not playing Holi.

— Ishwor Shrestha

Holi, being the festival of colours and joy, is enjoyed by almost everyone. And I am no exception. But in the name of festival we should not annoy others deliberately. Once I was walking down an alley at Tinkune when some hooligans threw balloons filled with dirty water. I couldn’t manage to dodge the balloons and instead had to walk along without retaliating. Scores of hooligans hover in the streets, intoxicated with bhaang and hit the girls with balloons. It is totally a shameless act.

— Menash Shrestha

If Holi is celebrated in a nice way, we can have a lot of fun. The incident when some people tried to smear me on colours while I was going to a wedding ceremony probably is the worst Holi experience for me. I was wearing a formal suit and on the way I met a group that spoilt my clothes smearing colours all over me.

— Mohan Narshingh Shrestha

Holi is a festival of immense religious significance. But when it is round the corner, there is menace looming everywhere, with hooligans ready to hurl dirty water-filled balloons at the people. I once had a bitter experience when I was heading for my cousin’s wedding the day before Holi. I was wearing a long skirt. I was waiting for taxi when some young boys threw water all over me. Needless to say I was absolutely embarrassed to arrive all wet at the party.

— Sushma Ghimire

Holi is the festival of colours. Moreover it brings happiness and togetherness. However, the way it is celebrated has degraded. Youngsters throw plastics filled with water on pedestrians much before the day of holi. Generally, girls are the victims. The trend of mixing egg and kerosene while playing holi is quite disappointing. Not only that, the plastics and balloons used while playing Holi pollutes the environment. So, it should be played only with colours not even with water, as it is the wastage of water.

— Siru Rai, TSES, Bishalnagar

Holi epitomises goodwill, merry-making, shedding of hatred, jealousy, disillusionment and prejudice. But the way some people celebrate it, is nasty and ugly. Last year, I was heading to a morning programme. As soon as I was on the road a bunch of youngsters splashed a bucket of water over me. Although I was very annoyed, I thought it wouldn’t be a good idea to quarrel on the road. I just went home and took a shower.

— Prakash Sparsha, Jhiljhile, Jhapa

Holi reminds me of colours. It is believed the colours carry special power to ward off evils. However, I cannot forget the bitter experience I had. On my way to college, a boy threw a lola, which hit my eyes. I was not able to go to my college for three days due to the swelling on my eyes.

— Pratima Poudel

The excitement of Holi in 2005 turned into a nightmare. I hurried to my friend’s house for the puja as I’d been invited. Even though my parents offered to drop me in the car I didn’t want to trouble my father on a holiday. I thought I could dodge the water balloons. A few minutes from home, a big water balloon was hurled at me. I looked around but couldn’t spot the culprit. I felt helpless and was left with no other choice but to back home, change into fresh clothes and ask my father to drop me.

— Ujani Ghosh, Sanepa, Lalitpur

I love holi, but not the menace it brings. Three years ago some of my friends smeared colours on my face. A few days later I found that the colours made wounds on my face, which were painful. Colours that we usually use are of poor quality that have pieces of glass, sand and other chemicals. We rarely find organic colours in the market and even those that are found are so expensive. Since then, every Holi for at least two days I stay underground.

— Madan Raj Bhatta

Holi as we know it is both a holy festival and at the same time a festival of hooliganism. In the name of Holi, evil practices are being spread in our society. Everyone has sort of strange experience on this day. I experienced my worst Holi in 2061. I was heading towards Damak, Jhapa on my bike for urgent work and some hooligans who after stopping me unnecessarily picked up a row. But with the help of a group of kind-hearted passers-by who had arrived then, we managed to overpower them.

— Dhananjay Shah, TU

I still remember the Holi we celebrated last year. We are around 40 boys from the Pra-ho unit group and on a rampage at Thamel. Meanwhile, a lady was hit by many water filled balloons from our group. Then she got mad at us and started to call cops on her walkie-talkie. Then, I went near her, introduced myself and apologised for my friends’ deeds. Later, she said that it was okay and introduced herself as the inspector in-charge of the Thamel area.

— Avishek Bhandari, Anamnagar

Most of us, despite knowing the fact that Holi is the festival of natural colours, are more concerned with exploring dirty ways to make others suffer seriously. Some boys from my school attacked me with something black on their hand. They massaged it so deep and hard on my face that after sometime I started to feel uncomfortable and my face was left with allergic rashes that did not go for a week. They never realised that the black looking substance, actually a mixture of polish and coal could cause such harm.

— Kiran Thapa

I don’t enjoy playing Holi. All that I can recall of the past is the Holi when I was in Class XII in a girls’ hostel. All my friends were high on marijuana and cannabis in my room. Some of them had even vomitted. I called the warden and they all were rushed to hospital.

— Meena Subedi, Kalanki

Once I was walking down to Putalisadak when all of a sudden I was hit by a lola filled with dirty water. It was embarrassing to go shopping all drenched, so I returned home without doing the shopping that I had gone out to do. Most surprisingly this incident happened three days prior to Holi.

— Ambika Pandey, Chitwan