Holi celebrations at Dwarkadheesh temple, Dwarka, Gujarat.
It was the morning of Holi celebrations, Naanis all dressed up for the occasion were in for a surprise. Although the people of the community and the pujari ji of the temple had informed them about the elaborate celebrations at the temple, the previous night at holika dahan, they could not have even fathomed the experience that awaited them the next morning!
As they approached the temple precincts early morning they could hear the conch shells blowing, their feet gathered pace with the rising tempo of dhol and manjira. The moment they entered the garbha- griha (sanctum-sanctorum), they were taken aback by Krishna in his most colourful form- immersed in fragrance of chandan (sandal), and colours of the rainbow, he stood there, bearing witness to all- kids ran about, youngsters, oldies, coloured each other, men in kurta- dhoti, women in colourful sarees rejoiced. So much of gulal and abeer in the air, that they were practically walking on layers of colour, and let themselves be smeared in colour of Krishna- the colour yellow.
Oh, how the Naanis wished that these holi celebrations could go on for a wee bit longer. They were so ecstatic that they didn’t wash even a speck of colour from their face, after coming back to the hotel when the temple closed for the noon.
Their wish was granted when they were welcomed to the temple precincts for the concluding session of 5-day long festival celebrations, in the afternoon. Krishna, was now dressed in white, immersing each and every being into his benign form. The temple vibrated to the rhythm of songs, the euphoria grew, enrapturing men and women, and with them swayed Radha, Rukmani, Satyabhama, and all the other lovers, sakhis and wives, in spirit and soul with Dwarkadheesh, the Lord of Dwarka, himself. Soon after, the celebrations drew to a close.
The Naanis, who are otherwise not much fond of the festival, had realized one thing that no matter where you are, in Braj, Vrindavan or in the distant Dwarka, Holi paints you in just one colour, colour of Krishna’s love…
tumhare rang main, mae rangi hoon
meri gulaabi jhalak bhi tum main
bheego ke mujhko khushi jo de di
savaar di tu ne ye meri holi
kabhi meetana na neel mujhse
kabhi hatana na laal khud par
inhe sambhal kar yun rakhe rehna
mila ke dono manaa le holi…
(poem by Abbas Shamael Rizvi)