Precisely. It is that one day of the year when I love to be a kid all over again and play it with a lot of gusto. With my infamous gutter gang of Gandhinagar (my rascal childhood friends) I let myself free and indulge in myriad colours and water all the morning and afternoon.





Wait...


Did someone say 'Water'?  How dare you play Holi with 'Water'? How dare you waste the most precious resource of mother earth? How dare you? India wants to know. My ex-girlfriend wants to know. My neighbour's dog wants to know. All my friends on the Facebook (half of whom I don't know) want to know. The Republic wants to know.


It was just the other day when I was speaking to an erudite client about Holi and he mentioned his displeasure about wastage of water during Holi. He was hell-bent for a 'Tilak' Holi this time around. Save water, save mother earth. It is now or never. At least for once, think of the future generations. To be honest, I will be resurrected as a camel in my next life and wouldn't need much water.


Jokes apart, all these people who talk about saving water on that fatal end-of-the-earth Holi day, have they ever saved water during the remaining 364 days? I bet, a very few. How many of us have even bothered to know how much water do we waste while taking showers, brushing teeth, shaving, washing clothes, cleaning verandas, terraces, etc...? How many of us are conscious not to waste water when we are staying in a hotel or a resort? How many of us use the water judiciously at our workplaces? And not to forget all those ever increasing numbers of diabetics who go to pee every hour (including me).


Have we ever once consciously saved water at home, workplace, hotels, resorts, public places? Think about it. While most of us just talk, talk and talk, no action is ever taken by self; while it is expected that others fall in line immediately. I don't to want to change, but I want the world to change. And that is where all these 'I-will-change-the-world' friends of mine get active one fine celebration day.


Suddenly there is a barrage of advices thrust upon the general public by this anti-real-celebration pseudo-intelligentsia during Holi, Diwali, Makar Sankranti, etc... traditional or digital, all of them have something to say. Do not waste water this Holi or else there will be no water by circa 2089. Do not burst crackers this Diwali or else humankind will have to wear oxygen masks by circa 2142. Do not fly kites this Makar Sankranti or else birds will be extinct by circa 2276.


All these topics of seemingly intelligent and concerned discussion suddenly gain ground during these festivals on every given possible media platform. And everyone has a say!


My stand is very simple. All these Indian festivals are a part of my being. They are my identity. I will never compromise with them. I will play Holi with water. I will fly kites on Makar Sankranti. I will burst crackers on Diwali. I will celebrate my festivals as they are meant to be, as they were celebrated before. That's what defines me.


However, I pledge to save water, protect birds and reduce air pollution for the remaining 364 days of the year. And I will do whatever is within my capacity to fulfill my pledge.


I remember a friend of mine from Surat saying, "India is a Country running on a treadmill."  We just talk and run aimlessly, but we never take actions to move forward. Instead of wasting time and energy on pseudo and one-time concerns, let's take actions on actual and ongoing concerns. Change first and then expect the world to change.


I am sure a lot of people will not agree with my theory. But that's just me.




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