Holi is about fun, frolic, and naughtiness. Sarika reminisces about Holi celebrations, in her Pune hostel and shares the recipe of Thandai, without which Holi is incomplete. Here’s the recipe, in the regular column, exclusively for Different Truths.
Holi is a unique festival of India. Many of my non-Indian friends love this festival very much. An exuberant yet colourful celebration. There are numbers of legends, myths, and deities associated with it. But for me Holi means, fun, Bollywood music, dance, food and smearing close friends and relatives with bright gulal (dry colour powder).
In India, different regions and states have their own way of celebrating the day. Lath-maar Holi (where women hit men with sticks, while the men shield the blows) of Barsana, Krishna-Leela in Mathura Vrindavan, Dol Utsab in Shantiniketan, tribal celebration in Banswara. Jaipur elephant festival and Ranga Panchami in Maharashtra.
I spent more than five years in Pune (Maharashtra). In Maharashtra, people start celebrating with their sprinklers and water guns almost three days before the actual Ranga Panchami. They call it Dolchi – the actual meaning of Dolchi is throw water with force and hit the target.
There were interesting scenes in college hostel the day before the Holi. We girls sitting on the staircase and oiling each other, especially hairs. Also getting some tips from seniors. Some even collect their old dresses for the day, after that it is the time to queue in front of the telephone booth to call parents and near and dear ones, those days’ mobile outgoings were very expensive for students like us. And after we came out of the booth, eyes were mostly moist, as maa cried saying that what celebration can there be without children at home.
Some naughty girls threw water balloons on people from the rooftop. After throwing those balloons we hid behind the walls so that no one saw us. To our utter surprise once a gentleman, who was completely drenched came to the 5th floor to complain about us. The aunt, our hostel warden, saved us saying, “Bura na mano Holi hai!” (Don’t feel bad it’s Holi!). Few girls even planned their dates with their boyfriends. It is interesting when the couples who are covered with colours and could identify each other or failed to do so, with hilarious overtones!
Every festival carries lots of good memories and no festival is complete without food. Yes!
This year I prepared Thandai (cool-drink). It is a very popular drink during Holi. Am sharing the recipe with you all.
4.5 cups full-fat milk (boiled and cooled)
Quarter cup powdered sugar
Few saffron strands.
Quarter cup almonds
2tbsp poppy seeds
Half tbsp cardamom powder
2 tsp fennel seeds.
Half teaspoon cardamom powder.
Add all together in a big bowl, the prepared powder, milk, and mix it perfectly, and refrigerate for few hours.
Then strain the mixture and add sugar, pepper powder and saffron strands.
Pour into a serving glass when it is chill.
Serve with a smile. It’s ready!
Happy Holi, Friends.
©Sarika Sarkar Das
Photos by the author and the internet.
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A teacher, day dreamer, random experimental cook and some hit and miss photography, and at last love to call myself a full time mother.