no holi

Farnaz Shetty celebrates Holi. (Prashant Golecha photo)

MUMBAI — The festival of colors, Holi, is here. It doesn’t just signify the victory of good over evil, but also marks the onset of spring after winter. Some people wait the whole year to celebrate this festival, not just for the colors but also to gorge on some yummy delicacies. This is one festival which is celebrated by all ages with the same enthusiasm and energy.

However, last year due to the pandemic, people around the globe could not celebrate the festival with the same zeal and vigor. And this year, looking at the increase in cases, the government has put restrictions on playing Holi. We spoke to a few celebrities about their Holi plans this year, and this is what they had to say:

Farnaz Shetty:

“This is one festival that I never miss. Also, this time I am shooting for my film down South so I won’t be able to have a quiet celebration with family too. I think we should refrain from having fun this year, and the situation is not viable for any festivities. Let’s pray that next year is good and we celebrate Holi just like the old times.”

Mrunal Jain:

“This year, the situation is not under control. It will be a dry Holi for us at home. I will just put a ‘teeka’ on my mom, wife and papa. My mom is going to prepare a special vegetarian meal including gujiya and thandai. I hope that next year we will be able to play with colors like usual.”

Mohit Daga:

“Each color that we put on others during this festival has its own importance and significance. You don’t necessarily have to play with colors, even if you have those colors in your heart, the purpose of Holi will be served. During this festival, partying and making a fuss are just excuses. I am sure that this year too they will celebrate it with their close ones. I feel people should understand the actual meaning of colors and the actual reason behind the celebration.”

Micckie Dudaaney:

“It is very unfortunate that we are not able to celebrate Holi this year too. Last year, also we couldn’t really celebrate Holi like we used to earlier. For me, we had decided early only that this year we are not going to celebrate Holi or go out and meet people. The virus is spreading and the cases are increasing and my wife is pregnant and that’s why we don’t want to take the chances. We are trying to just sit at home, spend time with each other, play some games, have some good food and chill. That’s what we are planning to do this Holi.”

Aarvika Gupta:

“Holi is my favorite festival. I’ve never missed out on the fun even during my 12th  Boards examination. But last year I couldn’t play the way I am used to and this year too will be the same. I will be putting colors on my family members for ‘shagun’ and it would be just that, apart from puja and eating good food. We have to understand the situation and act accordingly. Jaan hai to jahaan hai. But yes, I miss my Holi during childhood, when there was no boundaries, no time limits. Now we are concerned about our hair, skin, chemical colors etc. My best Holi memory was in college. Our seniors once asked us to play Holi with gobar (cow dung) and mud. That was not like ragging, it was fun, though the gobar part was not interesting at all. I always miss that Holi. I always like to celebrate every festival with family and friends. I love to distribute gulal and sweets to street-kids, but this time I might distribute sweet by following precautions.”

Prateik Chaudhary

“Holi is a very important festival for Indians. But as we all know, the pandemic is not over yet, so this year also there will be almost no Holi parties. I am going to stay home and celebrate with my family like last year. My mom makes lovely gujiya, dahi-vada and other sweets, so I am going to sit at home and enjoy the day with my family. My memorable Holi celebrations were back in the days when I was in school. I was a very naughty and mischievous kid. Not only on Holi, but even on other days my dad used to get complaints about me. During Holi, I used to throw eggs and water balloons on random people, and also used pure silver and golden colors on my friends, so that they can’t easily get rid of those colors… I just hope the pandemic gets over soon and we are able to enjoy those happy and safe Holi days again.”

Munisha Khatwani

“With the present pandemic situation, there is no Holi celebration this year, so I don’t have any fixed plans. I might just catch up with a few friends and chill over lunch. My best Holi memory definitely has to be the party that happened two years ago where I was with the entire TV gang and we had a great time playing with colors, eating and drinking and, of course, dancing like there’s no tomorrow. I also remember the fun we had during the Holi special rain dance. Though that isn’t the right thing to do now when we should save water, I must admit that we all had a great time because I am anyway a water baby.”

Rajit Dev

“One year of this pandemic has just passed just like that. Last year I was home spending time with my parents in Kerala. This year, I’ll be home too and not go out to party as cases are rising. Let’s all be careful and responsible. I might have a quite celebration at home or visit a friend’s house for lunch and play some board games. I have never done anything crazy on Holi, but I have heard about the madness my friends went through after consuming ‘bhaang.’ I’ve never tried it yet. Maybe next year, when the pandemic ends, I would like to try it and see what it does to me.”

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