Adding colour

For two weeks, lolas have been flying from all directions — especially aimed at the fair sex. Every year, in the Kathmandu Valley, the festival of colours starts for the lola-throwing lot days ahead of the big day. Lolas they hurl at passing eves, and as soon as these water-filled small balloons find their target, they burst, bathing it with liquid. Those at the receiving end should thank God if they get splashed only with water off the tap, which has become scarcer in the capital, unmixed with any noxious or murky matter, or something straight off the gutter. The lola terror assumes bird-flu proportions.

Almost every year, the local administration puts out a notice warning of legal action against anybody who may indulge in the lola-hurling sport or spraying the unwilling lot with the liquid or powder of any hue or composition. But lolas and the spirit of Fagu appear to be out of sync with each other, though, of course, the occasion is invested with a tinge of romanticism and devotion. Several legends have gathered around the festival. A good number of revellers have given a sadistic twist to the celebration. Fagu heralds the arrival of the spring, and the spring implies the bright side of things.

Rowdy revellers apart, we should recapture its real spirit, adding colour to our lives.