Quick, think of spring and what comes to mind? The festival of Holi, of course!! Think of Holi and what springs to mind? ‘Gulal’ or dry colours in bright shades, ‘pichkaris’ or water pistols, and buckets of water to drench people, right?
Go out into the market on Easter and you cannot miss the Easter egg on the shop counter – filled with sweets and chocolates, it is irresistible. Several people also paint eggs or emboss chocolate eggs with sugar flowers to gift to friends and relatives.
Kamla Mathur was born and brought up in Etah, a small town in Uttar Pradesh. Now, at 65, she lives in Delhi and reminisces fondly of the Holi she and her siblings celebrated at ‘home’, in the area called Brajbhoomi, the land where the Braj dialect of Hindi is spoken.
“Yuk!” exclaimed Thenyak. “It tastes awful!” Changun said nothing. But her screwed up features told all!
“Don’t like it, do you?” said Grandma Kamlong with a toothless grin. “But watch now.”
Using the ladle, she scooped up a little salt from a wooden bowl and put it into the broth.
This morning we got a call in our office from a friend who gave us us the news that the Taj Mahal had collapsed in an earthquake in the wee hours of dawn. As soon as we let out shocked gasps we realised that we had all been made fools.
I was back in my village after a long time. Tall pines and Deodars greeted me as I walked uphill, on the twisty ‘kuccha-pukka’ road. It is a small village, tucked away in the lower ranges of the Garhwal Himalayas, in northern Indian state of Uttaranchal.
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