The Telegraph
Tuesday , March 18 , 2014
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Mood: Hip hip Holi. Move: Balam pichkari

Back-to-back holidays! Holi revellers couldn’t have asked for more. The government had declared a compensatory holiday for Monday’s Holi after Dol on Sunday. Calcuttans lapped up the bonus Holi-day with gusto, leaving a colour trail on the roads and streets in almost every para. Metro checked the Holi palette

The cloud didn’t burst but still it rained at Diamond City, Tollygunge. Residents of 600 apartments at the complex set up water sprinklers and danced to the tunes of a DJ who pumped up the jam with tracks like Balam pichkari and Baby doll. “One of the best Holis I have had,” gushed homemaker Suchita Shrivastav, swinging with her eight-year-old daughter. There were games for children and food counters on the side.
At Arihant, a housing complex in Girish Park, the revelry started on Sunday evening. “After Holika dahan last evening, many of us couldn’t wait to bring on the colours. We started today from where we left off last night,” said 10-year-old Ansh Pachisia.

Plonk! There she goes. It was a colourful getaway for over 900 Holi enthusiasts at Holi Rangoli 2014, organised at Lake Land Country Club, in association with t2, on Monday. Daubed with colour, the young swung friends into the pool while elders kept cool with thandai. When it came to dancing, age was no bar as everyone from six to 60 matched steps to fun tracks Rang barse, Balam pichkari, Badtameez dil, Dilliwali girlfriend and more that DJ Akash belted out.

Tourists joined the fun on Sudder Street and beat the Holi heat with thandai.

From the faces of people to car bonnets and from sweets to thandai, there was colour on every road though we don’t subscribe to three on a scooter without helmets even on Holi. The rush was on with people returning home from a friend’s place or rushing to the neighbourhood shop to replenish their abir bag or running to the nearest restaurant for a bite.

This family in Kankurgachhi on Maniktala Main Road took full advantage of the sparse traffic. “It is no fun staying indoors on Holi,” said the youngest in the group chasing a bystander who had until now managed to dodge the pichkari. After shooting a streak of coloured water, the boy “reloaded” his gun from one of the several buckets kept ready for refills. Trading hub Burrabazar was on a Holi high till late in the afternoon: play, drink thandai and eat sweets. Repeat. “We always celebrate Holi this way,” said businessman Manish Ruia.

Pictures by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya, Sayantan Ghosh, Bishwarup Dutta and Anup Bhattacharya; Text by Zeeshan Jawed and Malancha Dasgupta