Springtime is ushered in in many different ways; the joy you see at that
first sight of green pushing its way through cement, saying goodbye to an
unreasonably large amount of winter clothing, and if you happen to be in India,
throwing a packet of coloured dye at someone.
Poetic waxing still intact.
Holi, also known as the festival of colours, is to celebrate the beginning of a
new season, and the bounty of harvests and fertile lands it would bring. For a
long time, celebrating Holi was confined to areas in Chennai like Sowcarpet,
home to a large number of Rajasthani immigrants. But it’s hard not to fall in
love a festival that’s practically a nationwide game of paintball, so if you’re in
the city for the next week, expect to show up to work in shades of red, blue
and green at the least.
Chennai is taking a concise green effort this year, with people like Archana
Shah of Purasawalkam, who make their holi powder out of boiled beetroots,
turmeric and channa dal. Organic holi, a much safer option than the synthetic
kind, can be found at shops on Devaraja Mudali Street and N.S.C. Bose Road.
If the usual running around and spraying every individual you see is a little
too rambunctious for your taste, an evening at Holi, the Concert of Colours
could provide a safe haven. Tirupati N.N. Hemanand Narayan, a classical
Indian flutist, will be the evening’s performer. A disciple of Acharya Sri Tiruttani
Krishna Murthy and hailing from a family of learned musicians, it’s safe to say
you’re in good hands. The concert will start at 6 p.m at the Bharatiya Vidya
Bhavan on the 27th of March.
The ITC Grand Chola seems as good a place as any to celebrate a holiday,
especially when their restaurant, the Madras Pavilion has taken the effort to
put together a special buffet in the spirit of the season. Their dinner buffet
starts at Rs.5000 for two on March 26th, and all are welcome; provided you
don’t look too much like a walking human work of art.