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Blog 12 (05/2019)

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Holi: festival of colours


There is something magical about Holi. It brings man and nature together in a blend that matches the colours of flowers and joys of spring. It connects one with tales and myths told by grandmothers and friends. It brings back memories of youth and boisterous sessions of joyous abandonment. There are so many stories about Holi - the Holika story with bonfire, the spring story with radiant rainbow colours and the one about getting together with friends, just to celebrate.

Holi finally happened in Ankara after a long winter, which saw snow till last weekend. You have to do it only when spring comes, even if it is in May! India House opened up to Turkish and diplomatic friends and members of the diaspora, many traveling from distant parts of the country. Although there were a few drops of rain in the morning, we soon got under a glorious sun.

For me, Holi is fun with colours, dance and drinks. For many, it was their first Holi festival, but they got into the rhythm with ease. Dominique remarked he was looking like a Van Gogh creation while Diva did the perfect Bollywood samba. Salim wondered if he could attend his business meeting in his newly coloured jacket.

The music was democratic but peppy, a blend of Indian and Turkish favourites. We had everyone on the floor, I mean on the lawns, swaying beautifully. Turks and other friends danced Holi numbers as if they were in Krishna’s Vrindavan, with Aditya’s assistant leading the way!  Alok and Surya made sure there was adequate supply of gulal and everyone was looking colorful.  Nandu came late but made up with his energetic dance moves. The food came all the way from Cappadocia, the only genuine Indian restaurant in Anatolia. I made the cocktails and Old Monk and Kingfisher kept everyone happy! Happy Holi is a new addiction spreading across Turkey!!