Coronavirus and the Festival of Colors
Splash of Colours - Holi
Holi is the most vivid and colourful festival of India. Personally, it is my favourite festival, because you don’t have to spend time getting ready in new clothes. Also, it does not have any strict worship norms. It also signifies the triumph of good over evil and marks the beginning of harvest or spring season.
An evening, before Holi is celebrated with colours, the pyre of wood is lit and people gather around the fire, to offer prayers for the well being of all human beings.
There was a time until a few years ago where the whole family used to play Holi like crazy from morning till evening and enjoy many traditional and special drinks throughout the day! I don’t play much now, but love the festive vibes in the air that just rejuvenate everyone, after a long winter season.
Even today, people all over India, whether big city or small, get soaked in the madness of the festival by throwing coloured water and coloured powder on one another. Drenching is so much fun in this weather. They play, sing and dance on the streets, gardens, open spaces and halls, visit friends and families.
Coronavirus and Holi
Every year, it is advised by the environmentalists and activists, not to waste water by overusing it. I’m not okay with this piece of advice. We, anyway, don’t misuse water or overdo playing with watercolours. Well, in 2020, there is a different reason to scare us and it is called Coronavirus aka COVID 19. In the wake of this deadly virus, a lot of mass gatherings are being cancelled or postponed, as a precautionary measure. The outbreak is global and it’s huge worldwide.
So the big question is, should you just let this vibrant festival, simply pass, by completely isolating yourself? Or should you ignore all the health alerts and notifications raised by the government and health authorities of India?
Here is what you can do and still enjoy the festival:
1. Check whether there are any Coronavirus patients undergoing treatment in your area (town or city) and what is their current status. You would know if you are reading newspapers or watching local news channels daily. The number of confirmed cases in India is very small.
2. Don’t go for large social events this year. Restrict it to neighbours and your colony or society only. Do not gather in masses, rather just play outside the house.
3. Do not play with anyone who is having normal flu, whether he/she is your friend or family or relative, not even with the masks on.
4. Have lots of vitamin C (mostly found in citrus fruit), D and drink hot/lukewarm water for 3-4 days, during Holi. This will make you strong from inside and minimize your chance of catching flue.
5. Do not indulge in any kind of outings or parties and have food in hotels or restaurants.
6. For skin and hair protection, here are some basic tips:
a) Apply coconut/mustard or any vegetable oil over your body and hair before you start playing. You can also apply petroleum jelly so that the colour does not penetrate deep into your skin and be removed easily.
b) Girls and ladies, avoid wearing any makeup or fancy hairstyles. Tie a bun to avoid hair damage. Girls, anyway, look prettier and more natural without makeup.
c) Wear appropriate clothes that cover your body fully from the colours. We know that Indian cinema has really glamourized Holi, but remember that is not real and just for shooting purpose. Apply sun screen to the exposed parts of your body.
d) Use organic colours although it’s difficult to test if the colour is truly organic and without any traces of chemicals. These days shops sell Chinese colours in the market and that is even scarier. Coronavirus is China’s baby!
e) Apply thick nail paint on the nails before playing and remove it once you are done playing.
f) Keep an eye on your children.
g) Do not use mud, balloons, varnish, paint etc. to tease others.
This holy, let us reset old relationships, spread more love, pledge and pray to lord to save mankind from the demon called Coronavirus.
Wishing everyone - a safe, exuberant and cheerful Holi. :)