Ah, that wonderful time of the year when fun is forced on us. And who the fuck came up with this line anyway? Bura Na Maano Holi Hai.
Kyu nahi bura maane?
You’re wearing your nice shirt to work and someone’s kid decides to try out his shot put skills by throwing balloons at you.
You’re on your bike and another kid takes an aim at you, causing you to have an accident.
Fir bhi, bura na maano Holi hai?
You hate playing Holi but your ‘gang of friends’ drag you outside your home, shred your kurta to the extent that it now resembles an overpriced Ed Hardy top. You don’t need that shit in your life.
Par bura kaise maan sakte ho? Yeh toh doston ka pyaar hai.
Why has this fun festival turned into complete atyachar?
Oh, and if you’re a woman, you are blessed with an extra load of Holi love you didn’t ask for.
Because Holi is that time of the year when sexual misconduct with women is not a crime, but a beautiful tradition passed down from one tharki man to the next in making.
If you’re a woman who’s been abused or witnessed abuse towards women on Holi, you know this all too well. Let’s see a show of hands.
Someone ruined Holi for you and now you hate it. Because now playing Holi means looking over your shoulder, instead of walking arm in arm with your friends.
It is about moving away from a gang of drunken men in anticipation of abuse. And not about grooving to music.
It is about being on a self-imposed lock-down instead of stepping outside to the pleasant weather Holi brings. Holi causes some men lose their shit and act out their sexual fantasies on women.
Men who do not understand consent. Men who use Bollywood as their rule book for bad behaviour. Tumhari balam pichkari ko apne paas hi rakho.
Men who think it is okay to throw semen-filled balloons (or balloons) on women. Don’t lose the plot guys, throwing anything at anybody is bad, unless you’re playing a sport that wins you points for throwing things.
Men who think that their arms are a good measuring tape for your waistline. Uchit doori banaye rakhein.
Men who dunk women in water as they scream and fight against it. Sabko Michael Phelps samjha hai kya?
Men who target women’s breasts and butt. It is stupid, it is disgusting, go touch yourself (in private)!
Men who force-feed others bhaang. Don’t force anyone to drink: not bhaang, not alcohol, not your mummy’s world-famous sherbet. Because, consent.
And finally men who say Bura Na Mano Holi Hai. So when you get punched in the balls, tum bhi bura mat maan-na.