Something that truly put the happy into Holi this year, was the fact that the festival was marked with heightened consciousness about water conservation yesterday.
By and large, Mumbai had a high and dry Holi as a lot of people, which includes kids, were conscious about not wasting water. One could spot groups of young men and women daubed with dry colour but not the usual hosing each other by revellers, emptying buckets of water on each other, actually bringing tankers in huge housing societies or any other such activity that used up copious amounts of water.
One can put this down to an up tick in awareness brought about by all the messages circulating on social media, a few days before the festival. Put this down also to several celebrities, cricketers and actors amongst them who were using different mediums to tell the city to have a dry Holi this year. Their reach and popularity is tremendous and when they talk, people pay heed. So, whether it was Sachin Tendulkar telling Mumbai to conserve water or actors, who not only preached but actually practised dry Holi, it all went a long way in a more eco-conscious festival and celebration. One could even say that water balloons were fairly less too, which was only a good thing. Flying missiles are dangerous, and like it has been proved in the past, they have no place in celebrations.
One was disappointed to see a few cases of drunk driving and we can only hope that drivers become much more responsible, very soon.
The Mumbai cops were top of their game yesterday, ensuring a very disciplined festival and keeping a strict vigil on the roads. Their alert and widespread presence was a huge deterrent to miscreants and hooliganism, often the scourge of this happy day.
Disciplined revelry should extend to other festivals too and people must realise that you can have fun without being foolhardy. A good precedent that should set the pattern not just for other Holis too, but through the year to come. In these days of the world T-20, it is apt to say, well played, Mumbai.