Thursday, March 8, 2012

And all fall down

A pocket full of posies;
Hush! hush! hush! hush!
And all fall down
-first printed nursery rhyme

Among the most revered things about JNU, Holi gains a prime spot. It's probably the only national university which wakes up to the sound of people shaking their bottles to ensure a giddy cocktail of milk and bhang aka female canabbis plants at wee hours. Needless to say, it's India's version of Mardi gras and therefore much-awaited festival of the year for international students living on campus. Palpitating with excitement my German roomate and her gang bought colours, water-pistols and white-shirts a day before the festival from the campus vendors who in their hearts must be thanking Bollywood films and Shiva in equal measure.

This was my second Holi on campus. Armed with wild experiences from the last time and flu medication I succeeded in limiting the consumption of Bhang milkshake passed around in plastic water-bottles to a cautionary few sips. In an hour or so the drug began to show-up on everyone's face. The whole campus turned into a candybar cover full of smiley faces in colours of pink orange and yellow. On the other hand red, having more than an emphatic connotation on campus settled everywhere like dust. "laal hai bhai laal hai, JNU laal hai", some sounds have an after-life here on this campus.

Insanity level shot up, as the day progressed. Like all hallucinogens, bhang amplifies your state of mind evoking responses as diverse as human minds. A common experience reported by everyone is the illusion of time slowing down much akin to watching an Angelopoulos film. So it wasn't unusual for people to ask "How long have we been sitting here, looks like a day has passed". The most dramatic event of the day was watching a friend halt at the staircase, looking at the third floor with a quizzical look on her face. She had forgotten the flight of stairs she had climbed to get to the third floor, for it felt like the divine stairway to Vaishno devi temple quote unquote.

Holi leaves one with all kinds of adventurous tales. More than Diwali, it's time we start printing Have a safe Holi on hallmark cards. Today, the international students were first to chug the cannabis drink and subsequently the first ones to pass out. Along with the hazy memory of printing colourful hand-marks on white tee-shirts and dancing to confusing dhol sounds, what remains is the vision of a bunch of kids holding hands at a merry-go-round before they scream ..And we all fall down

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