Sunday was Holi, in case anyone was interested. A day filled with bhang, colour and partying, for some. Or a day when I barricade myself in the apartment apartment, shut the doors and windows and don’t step outside until dusk. Generally, I stock up for Holi, which means I buy food, rent movies or keep a set of magazines and a couple of unread books ready. This means there is absolutely nothing that can require my presence in the great outdoors.
This year I planned Holi badly. At 10am, I realised I had no cigarettes. Now, this wouldn’t really have been a problem. I can survive a day without cigarettes. But it seemed the universe wanted me to get some cigarettes when a friend begged me to accompany them to the nearby corner — which is where the cigarette shop and the auto stand is — so that he could get an auto to go to a Holi party. This is what the world has come to: a man requires a rotund midget to protect his manly virtue on Holi. So off we toddled. Well, I toddled; he walked. Two boys with blue balloons did their best to hit us and failed miserably. But given we yelped and jumped, I think we provided them the joy that they’d been seeking.
Then we reached the corner. All around us were people who looked like the discarded beta versions of the Avatar aliens. My friend and I, on the other hand, were pristine. He snuck into an auto and headed off for his Holi party. I bought my cigarettes and started sauntering back. Just as I had turned into the lane, someone slurred, “Why’re you so clean, bitch?”
It’s been more than 24 hours and I’m ashamed to say, I still haven’t thought of a pithy answer to that question. Hmph.
What I did do on Sunday was walk back to the apartment and start scrubbing the floor.