I have lived across Northern India - from Bengal to Himachal and enjoyed Holi – the festival of colours with different groups – different culture and in different ways. But the memories of child hood of this festival are still fresh especially when we shifted from our ancestral home to our new house Raza Bazaar.
We had shifted from a joint family to this house of our only in December and were fairly new to the colony. More over the area was new and had very few houses. The nearest otherwise developed colony was Samanpura – a fully Muslim inhabited area. And most of our friends were Muslims too.
Holi in Patna till now had meant a full day filled with fun for us. With very few neighbours here we didn’t know if we could enjoy the same way as we enjoyed in our old house. So we planned after playing with some colours with the neighbours we would go to our old house to play with all there.
Next day early morning we four siblings took our colours and were ready to move to the few Hindu neighbours in the colony. But hardly had we reached our lawn and what we see – a whole group of our new friends from the Muslim area decked in all colours. Our joy had no limit. So our Holi started and we started moving with the toli. From one lane to the other – one house to the other – Singing – dancing – playing – colouring and getting coloured. We enjoyed the utmost and returned to home by 2:00 pm. On reaching home we found that our parents were drenched in colours too. Especially, my father – who hardly ever played wet holi. When we kids had left there had been groups of my father and mother too who had come from the same muslim area and played holi.
Every following year the neighbours increased and toli continued to grow, but the memories of the first year which saw new friends playing Holi and no religion coming in between always remains alive as a sweet memory.