Holi - Celebrating the colors of humanity | Milaap

Holi - Celebrating the colors of humanity

Holi has always been about messing around with my mother right after she came out of a bath, or about bursting eggs and water balloons on friends. The day ended with a heartiest feast of the best cuisines that my culture brings. This year Holi meant something completely different. It all started with my interaction with Tony Whelan, a native of the UK, nourishing in Nepal for the past seven years, DJ’ing in the famous eateries. Tony is also a neighbour to Child Welfare and Education (CWE) Home, Pokhara, where I render my services whenever I loiter in Nepal. He came up with a proposal that this year he desired to play for the children of the Home. Whatever money would be generated from the show, would go towards the welfare of these children.

Off we began with our planning. Three sets of tee shirts were printed that cried “DJ’ying for the kids”, ”Dancing for the kids”, and the ones to be sold, “I danced for the kids”. Taal Restaurant was kind enough to be our venue holders and they too stepped up with their helping hands of donating services and money to CWE. I have spent two whole weeks watching the gorgeous ladies practice their dance routines that they would be performing in front of many known and unknown faces on an auspicious day.

Mandatory dress rehearsals!

The 20th of March started pretty early. It commenced with the age-old tradition of CWE of playing with a myriad of colours within the family. By 10 am, we could hardly recognize each other’s faces and were completely exhausted running about, splashing colours just within the compound. With the strike of the clock, the performers for the day quickly rushed in to clear their faces and wear the costumes. This was a time-consuming process. Mind you, traditional Nepali dresses as magical as they look is a complicated attire to take on.

 After 2 hours of Holi in Home!

The children of CWE in traditional costumes

Once we got the signal that DJ Toni Dai and DJ Kiran, the entertainers of the day, had set their equipment, we all marched on to reach Taal Restaurant. It was after a long time that I got reminded of my school’s annual day function. Forming a line of two and marching to the venue, made us all feel like celebrities. While the girls were all dressed in their beautiful traditional costumes, the guardians, myself and alike resembled aliens covered in layers of hue. Pictures were being taken all along the way and I could not help but notice the blushes on the young maidens' countenance.

 The talk of the town for one day!

 With heads held high, walk these pretty ladies

Once the music started, slowly crowds from all around Pokhara Lakeside slowly clustered in, and within a few minutes, the empty ground transformed into a canvas painted with characters from distant lands and within. The good part about Tony and Kiran is that they choose to play only Nepali music once the crowd is set to the groove. It is their way of presenting gratitude to the magnificent beauty of Nepal and the uniqueness of its art. My children fatigued themselves dancing much before their own numbers for performance came.

 DJ Toni Dai and DJ Kiran, Taal Restaurant

 Adults and kids, dancing alike to Nepali songs

But who is to compete with the agility of young dynamic adolescence? Once they hit the floor they set it on fire. There was not a single person within the vicinity who was not dancing along with them. Since Pokhara has a huge population of foreigners, it was interesting to see how they wanted to replicate the traditional moves of the dancers. There were cheers for encores and the kids delivered it with complete merrymaking and pomp. However, it was not the entertainment that brought a smile on my face but the fact that these children who have been abandoned by their own blood got an opportunity to gain respect and recognition from complete strangers. What was purer was that they are at such a stage of life that it is tough to get contaminated with the luring of fame. For them, it was all about giving their best shot and making myself and Deepak proud for having them got to that stage.

Stars of the day!

In years to come, there will be many more Holis with its own different faces. But this Holi will be etched in my memory lane forever because it was far beyond just tinctures on the skin. This Holi was about adding vibrancy into the lives of children who truly need it. This Holi was about culminated efforts of good people making the best out of their profession and passion. This Holi was about the tradition of humanity.

 Director, Volunteers, the audience and Content developer (myself) of CWE, for one cause- Dancing for the kids!