Holi – the festival of colours
Holi, 27th March 2013
Today is Holi, the Hindu festival of colours.
There is a drum and brass band playing outside my building, and the pigeons are busy dropping nesting material in through my window. I clear the twigs, bits of plastic and twizzled curls of paper off the inner windowsill and out of my kitchen sink.
I dress and go outside. The sun is very warm already; my clothes begin to stick to me in places. My feet stick to the dust that scuffs into my open sandals, as I walk along the road that is being dug up. Yet no-one is working there today, and the street is deserted. The main roads have barely any traffic either.
I walk past two tabby cats with green eyes, blinking in the sun.
While I was composing the shot above, these boys came up to me and wanted to talk and have their picture taken. The guy in the green t-shirt has bright red-pink coloured powder on his hands, which passed to my own hands after he wanted to shake my hand a few times.
The boats lying in the cove had coloured flags raised in them. Some were bearing the national flag, and others just bright colours. From the shanty houses on the beach flanking the cove, came the throb of loud music, streaming across the water and shingle towards the Bandstand promenade.
These photos show the same view at Bandstand promenade, from 3 different zooms.
I loved this bright yellow bus, especially against the blue sky and the palm tree.
When I took this photograph, I was intending it to be of the Bollywood Walk of the Stars, seen here on the promenade paving on the left. Yet out of the bright sunlight, what stands out in this picture is the brilliant green of the tree.
I climb down to the beach, a lunar plateau of black rocks, strewn around with deep drifts of pebbles and seashells, bits of old sandals, decaying green coconuts and the brown husks of sweetcorn cobs.
These rocks had been splattered with colour by the men down on the beach, who were celebrating by swimming in the sea. Only their faces still bore the bright splashes of colour, as the sea had washed the rest away.
The BBC reports on Holi celebrations around India, including good pictures of powder throwing: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-21950195
Image from BBC Travel http://www.bbc.com/travel/slideshow/20130325-indias-holy-festival-of-colours