There’s a reason why we hail spring, why it’s so widely celebrated, odes written about its youthful exuberance. Spring is the season of hope, it’s all about celebrating rebirth or rejuvenation. Spring celebrates life. The fresh green leaves shooting out of branch browned by harsh winter, the colorful flowers blooming all over, the singing birds – the world seems to have awakened from the winter hibernation. Song of Spring is a colorful melody expressed so beautifully by none other than John Keats:
And O and O,
The daisies blow,
And the primroses are wakened;
And the violets white
Sit in silver light,
And in the green buds are long in the spike end.
No wonder then Spring is blithely followed by lovingly playful Cupid. First, comes visiting Saint Valentine from the far West and we Indians paint the town red and pink to welcome him. Though many may not know who Saint Valentine is, Valentine’s Day has become the most important day on the desi lovers’ calendar. It’s all about red roses and pink hearts or rather pink heart-shaped pastries and chocolates and trinkets and gifts followed by expensive dinners. Those already in love take a lot of pain to make their cherished ones feel special. Those yearning for love, hope to find that special someone on Valentine’s day. While the florists and the bakers make hay, we are or imagine ourselves to be Cupid struck! Naysayers may cynically nod their heads, but I feel great about dedicating a day to love. After all, love does make the world go around!
Then comes our very own Holi that encapsulates the fun and frolic of Lord Krishna with his beloved Radha and his favourite Gopis. Though Holi also signifies the victory of good over evil, the triumph of Prahlada over the evil king Hiranyakashipu, it is the image of fair Radha playing with colours of love and passion with her dark mischievous lover Krishna in Braj Bhoomi (Vrindavan) that captures the popular imagination. Holi celebrates the many colours of love, the divine love of Radha Krishna – the love of Krishna for his married distant relative Radha that is considered to be the epitome of love and adoration. Ironically, our society that frowns upon the love that doesn’t fit into its narrow norm of caste, creed and morality, celebrates and embraces the divine love of Radha Krishna.
Even today, Holi in Vrindavan reflects the amorous love of Radha Krishna. It could be the Raslila’s being performed in every corner, the songs celebrating the Divine Love or gulal in so many colours, Vrindavan’s Holi does create an aura of mischievous, defiant love. Red, yellow, pink, purple and green gulal floating in the air create their magic. For Holi is all about celebrating love, the many colours of love and the many hues of life, shades that often leave us confounded. We so often witness during Holi red, yellow, green and purple coming together to create a hue that flouts all definition. Holi, the Spring festival, the festival of colours celebrates these varied defiant shades of love and life!
About the author –
Sumana Bhattacharya is a PR practitioner by profession and a writer by passion. Her style is simple, she likes to write about things she feels deeply about.In her writings she sometimes draws from her experiences of having grown up in a small town, Agartala.She has recently started a blog The Retro Feeling, that stems from nostalgia – longing or twinge of guilt for days gone by or left behind. She is an ardent reader of poetry, fiction and mythology.
Sumana is a post-graduate in English from Hyderabad Central University. She works for a PR agency and lives in Gurgaon.