Mumbai Diary: Sunday shorts
The city -- sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce
Please turn down the music
There is something about Holi. The festival of colours unites kids and adults alike, albeit both of them have different ideas of celebrating it. On Friday, when Mumbaiites were in the throes of celebrating this event with much fervour, this diarist woke up to loud, blaring music.
Children enjoying Holi with their parents. Pic/Uday Devrukhkar
Surprisingly when she rushed to the window to see if people were actually gyrating to it, she noticed that there was no one around. In fact, children were playing Holi in another compound. They were running around, splashing water, bursting water balloons and smearing colour on each other’s faces, caught up in their own revelry, completely oblivious to the music.
After a couple of hours, beat marshals came to the building and advised adults to tone down the volume as it was disturbing other citizens. Finally, when the music was playing at a low volume, adults started moving to the beats while the kids cheered them on.
The adults need to learn a lesson or two from children when it comes to celebrating Holi. You don’t need loud chartbusters to up the mood. Clearly, the festival of colours can be much more fun when it is celebrated with some respect for other people’s privacy.
This day in 1992...
The last World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand in 1992 threw up a rash of stars who went on to dominate world cricket. One such star was South Africa’s Jonty Rhodes who was a crowd favourite ever since he ran out Pakistan’s Inzamam ul Haq at Brisbane on this very day in 1992.
Jonty Rhodes during the 1992 World Cup in Australia Pic courtesy/ Getty Images
Rhodes’s recollection of the run out in the book ‘Jonty - Fruits of the Spirit’ by Edward Griffiths is probably as stunning as the diving effort. He said: “There was nothing planned. I had lost confidence in throwing at the stumps, so I decided to dive. It was instinctive. I was surprised by the reaction afterwards. People didn’t want to talk about anything else.”
When Kepler Wessels’ South African team got home after a heartbreaking exit in the semi-finals against England, Rhodes was clearly the man the whole of South Africa wanted a piece of.
According to the book, Rhodes took a call at his Pietermaritzburg home one afternoon before heading out to play some hockey. The caller, a stranger, told Rhodes that his mother had travelled from Cape Town to celebrate her 80th birthday in Maritzburg. The old lady kept telling her folks about how Rhodes’s fielding during the World Cup enriched her viewing. The stranger asked Rhodes whether he would come over and wish the lady. Within half an hour, Rhodes was at the party place.
This story would never have been out had the grateful 80-year-old not written a letter to South African board pillar Ali Bacher, underling the “calibre of person” representing South Africa. As for Rhodes, he said: “It's a privilege to be in a position where you can make people happy.” Some heart of gold that.
There is Holi and then there is selfie. When you combine both you might get a semi or a holfie. Or Okay whatever. The point we are trying to make is that it is ring out the old and ring in the new when it comes to celebrations as traditional as holi too. Like in the New Year where people ran across city roads taking pictures on their cell phones, the selfie ruled during the Holi too.
These bunch of revellers gave new meaning to balloon fun by putting themselves in front of the camera selfie style. So even as you try to scrub the colour off your face those last few stubborn smears smile in Holi snapshots. Balam pichkari joh tune mujhe maari toh seedhi saari chori selfie le gayi.