Monday, February 6, 2023
HomeOpinionThere are three things missing from Holi: Consent, personal space, and logic

There are three things missing from Holi: Consent, personal space, and logic

The main problem is that somewhere Holi caters to the sadism that exists within most Indians.

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How to play Holi with someone who doesn’t want to play Holi? The golden rule is: don’t. Apart from the colours on your hand, you need to keep three things in mind: personal space, consent and of course, logic.

Keep away

You can get away with anything in India by calling it a festival. If the government decides to declare unemployment as a festival, employed people would quit their jobs to celebrate it.

We have normalised the behaviour of invading someone’s personal space and physically defacing them without their consent, all in the name of festivals and celebration.

Violating personal spaces is second nature to most Indians. We are conditioned to always be around one and other, so much so that it doesn’t even occur to us when we are in somebody else’s space. We take personal distance for granted. Probably that’s the main reason why India will never be good at singles tennis. Just way too much empty space around Leander Paes without anybody getting in his way. Whereas in the doubles, he always has Mahesh Bhupathi in his vicinity to talk to, bump into and fight with. Holi, for me, is an escalation of this problem.

Also read: Move over Bhang, the new Holi vice at farmhouse parties is Ecstasy

May be ask?

Holi is a festival celebrated across the country to mark the triumph of good over evil. And the ultimate triumph of bad manners over good manners. However, people generally behave as though the almighty gave them a free pass to be a total airhead for the day.

The main problem is that somewhere Holi caters to the sadism that exists within most of us. It is about deriving maximum pleasure out of jeopardising something that is clean and perfectly in order. It’s probably the same rush that Vijay Mallya felt when he went around jeopardising a perfectly well-oiled alcohol business.

What really annoys me is the excuse that generally follows after drenching unsuspecting victims with colour and muck. The perpetrator expects to get away by just saying, “Bura na mano, Holi hai”. What sort of excuse or apology is this? You do something as bizarre and instead of apologising, you just state what you did. You certainly wouldn’t appreciate it, if I punched you in the face out of the blue someday and just said, “Bura na mano, punch hai.”

If you don’t partake in this forced form of assault, and resist a strange pair of hands making contact with your body, you are labelled a ‘party-pooper’, a ‘killjoy’ and a ‘spoilsport’. How does the person assaulting somebody suddenly become the good guy?

Also read: Don’t tell women sexual harassment hurts Hindu pride, tell hooligans to leave Holi alone

Apply sense

It’s called ‘playing Holi’ for a reason. You play it. And any game played has its rules.

Perhaps the most basic rule about playing anything is that you only play with people who want to play.

You don’t see Ronaldo pass the ball to some random spectator in the stadium to score a goal. Because the spectator isn’t playing, and it’s completely normal to leave a spectator alone. The problem with the current format of playing Holi is that there’s no conflict that culminates into a result. Nobody is getting out. If two people want to play Holi, they just put colour on each other – something both parties wanted throughout. So, in order to create conflict in the game, they find pleasure in going after unsuspecting people who don’t want to play this game.

The lack of logic doesn’t stop at just people who are throwing colours at each other. Even brands and businesses give up the excuse of logic during Holi. A clothing brand is offering 20 per cent off on clothing for Holi. If you’re a clothing brand, the last thing you should be doing is drop prices during Holi. You should instead raise prices. Holi is the biggest enemy of clothes. The core of Holi is damaging clothes for good. Why would you discount your clothes in order to get them destroyed?

I’m not saying stop playing Holi. All I’m saying is exercise some restraint when you’ve got a pack full of colours in a packet and an undying urge to watch something be jeopardised. Before you splash the colours, gently ask the person if they are comfortable with the whole deal. If they aren’t, don’t force them into it. Respect their decision and silently move on. At this point, I know what you’re thinking: who the hell am I to judge you and unleash all this gyan and logic, without you asking for it?

Bura na mano, logic hai.”

The author is a sketch comedy writer. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter (@devaiahPB), and Instagram (@devaiah.bopanna).

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  1. Looks like a school article written by a 6 year’s considered fashionable to write stuff against the majority nowadays…. Ronaldo passing the ball to a spectator – dude, you surely were high when you scribbled this

  2. well the three things are also missing from Slaughtering Lambs on Eid

    1. Consent: you dont ask lambs their consent before slaughtering
    2. Personal Space: a knife in the jugular is definite invasion of personal space
    3. Logic: you believe that you are slaughtering the lamb for your sins ?
    4. Transference: you are transferring your sins onto the lamb without its permission or consent

    but i dont see you liberals raising a voice against Islam now

    • Buddy,PandeyJi, the basic difference..between a human and an animal is their brains. Your comparison tells, you don’t know the difference..and your comment shows that there is none! Also research properly before you speak.

  3. Consent as a concept is barely understood in India. It just goes completely out the window during Holi. And to the people who are bashing the author, why does someone have to stay indoors if they don’t want to partake in your games? Just because people step out of the house on Holi doesn’t always mean they want to have colour and muck smeared on them, have their personal space violated WITHOUT their consent and spend the rest of the day trying to wash colour off of themselves. If people want to willingly play Holi, knock yourself out. It isn’t an excuse to assault someone and grope them in the name of a festival.

  4. I mean, what you wrote is write given majority of the India celebrates like that, but what was that about “You don’t Ronaldo passing the ball to a random spectator,” I mean kuch bhi??? kuch bhi???

  5. Author is right. Holi is a great excuse to touch girls in an office under the pretext of playing with colors. Respect for privacy is embodied in our constitution. How would the women folk feel if a couple of hooligans from the street stopped them and showered them with colors, touching and feeling them well, all under the guise of Holi. If that is okay, then all’s well that ends well.

    • You and the author belong to the same pervert category! The author calls Hindus as sadists. He must be given the strictest warning and perhaps be removed from his profession.. and taken to the courts for his abuse!

  6. Ya sit in front of a laptop and crib…that’s all you can do…go out and see people enjoying Holi instead of writing crap about it…not all people are jerks you know but you are one…

  7. Your article has no logic whatsoever…you don’t want to play Holi…DON’T…just lock yourself up in your house or go home to Coorg…Choice is yours.

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