I don’t know why I hate it so much. Actually it’s not an ‘it’. It’s more like a group of ‘it’s. All have the tags ‘festival’ and ‘religion’ attached to them. On top of of the charts is ‘Holi’ and close contenders are the ‘Diwali’ and ‘Ganesh’ festivals. I’m sure I have forgotten others but I choose not to remember them because I don’t want to have nightmares. I posted about this issue on my FaceBook status message in the morning and I got a prompt, sarcastic remark.
‘Kris, I can’t believe that you are saying this. You are, after all, part of a band which is called ‘NOISE’ market. Happy happy happy Holi!’
I really don’t see the correlation. Why? Is it because I’m part of a Hindi band? Is it because the band’s name consists of the transliterated ‘NOISE’ word? Is it because I’m gay (and so is this friend who commented) and by being what we are, we are predisposed to liking ‘color’ful, festive things? Or is it because my real name, the God that I am named after, used to play pranks on the gopis during this festival? What is it that makes it necessary for a person like me to like festivals naturally? I don’t see any reason.
Of course, most festivals in India are commemorative of the victory of good over evil, or of gods over demons, or right over wrong. That IS such a noble cause. But that’s just about it. They have been shaped into something really more demonic than holy. Yes, in India, a festival means – loudspeakers and blaring music irrespective of the time of the day (or night) or the location (hospitals eg.), traffic jams due to processions, drunken people dancing to the latest blasphemous Bollywood tune being played on trucks carrying deities. Diwali adds to the mess with people getting the 'license' to cause mini-explosions which are harmful to the ears and minds of humans and animals alike.
‘Holi’ takes it to another level – invasion of personal privacy! People throw colors at each other in the form of powder or fluids without permission or provocation. Each and everyone is supposed to LIKE that and be happy at the end of it all. Hello? Have you heard of something called personal rights? Would you go up to someone and tell them ‘Hey, I thought it would be really cool to use your car as a graffiti canvas. Happy ‘Car Graffiti Day!’ So why are people doing this? If they want to celebrate among themselves, why don’t they stop bothering those people who are not interested in this?
For the last four years since I chose Mumbai as my home, I have been scared and intimidated by this holiday. I’m frightened to go out and be splattered with paint-balls. I don’t think that it’s right. I don’t think it is right for people to do whatever they want to with the excuse a ‘religious festival’. I’m sure there are many more people like me who are just shutting up because they think that it’s immoral to admit they don’t like festivals. Don’t do that. Speak up!