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HOLI: PAEANS TO A TRADITION OF LOVE
THIS YEAR COULD BE A FAR CRY FROM RAUCOUS REVELRY
Associated for centuries with the playful tradition of smearing each others’ faces with colours, throwing water balloons and pumping water from ‘pichkaaris’, attributed to various legends, particularly that of Radha and Krishna, ‘Holi’ this year could be a far cry from the raucous revelry and socializing with which it has been synonymous with through the ages, due to the need for maintaining distance in view of the appearance of a more powerful version of COVID and the sudden spike in the caseload. However, as long as Bollywood is around, Indians have nothing to fear and can look forward to a gala even online.
Religious ceremonies apart, there is a common belief in the present times that one hasn’t celebrated Holi till one has played the timeless Bollywood melodies celebrating the most famous traditions associated with the Holi, particularly that of Braj. Even in the midst of curbs on social gatherings, party animals have a lot to make them happy in the form of Bollywood treasures widely available online, particularly YouTube, where these are available for free.
‘Holi Ke Din Dil Khil Jate Hain’, from the Bollywood blockbuster Sholay, captures the celebration of love and brotherhood synonymous with Holi, very precisely. Rang Barse Bhige Chunar Wali is another popular song dedicated to the celebration of Holi, from Bollywood movie Silsila. Penned by poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan, the song has been rendered by his son actor Amitabh Bachchan, both in reality and on screen. Based on a Bhajan composed by 15th-century mystic poet Meera, the song depicts the celebration of Holi by a community. It is one of the popular songs played on the occasion of Holi celebrations.
That life without colours can be a painful affair, has been portrayed in the song ‘Aaj na Chhodenge Bas Hamjoli, Khelenge Hum Holi’, which depicts the pain of widows, who are required to shun colours. Timeless classics like ‘Arey ja re hat natkhat’ from film Navrang dating back to 1959 is all about gender equality upheld by Holi celebrations.
‘Hori Khele Raghuveera’, from Baghbaan, rendered in the baritone voice of Amitabh Bachchan, is another hit Bollywood song that celebrates the spirit of Holi.
In the most recent years Bollywood has captured the verve of Holi through songs like ‘Balam Pichkaari’ from Yeh Jawani, Hai Deewani and ‘Do me a favour, Let’s Play Holi’ from Waqt: The Race against Time, which clearly hints at the language and ethnic barriers broken by the festival, which has now come to be celebrated in other countries as well. The list of Bollywood hits dedicated to the celebration of Holi is quite exhaustive. Hence, party animals and Holi enthusiasts have nothing to fear. Bollywood has provided sufficient material to ensure that nothing comes between them and the Holi celebrations.