Colour Me Harassed: My Experience Last Holi and How it Changed Me
The festival of colours, as they call it, was nowhere close to being colourful for me.
The festival of colours, as they call it, was nowhere close to being colourful for me.(Photo: Aroop Mishra/The Quint)

Colour Me Harassed: My Experience Last Holi and How it Changed Me

My grandfather passed away in 2015. Three years after his demise, in 2018, I decided to play Holi again with as much enthusiasm as before. At the time I didn’t know that I was about to face something horrific.

The festival of colours, as they call it, was nowhere close to being colourful for me. I shared a close bond with my grandfather and his death shattered me. I was determined to never play Holi after his death. I didn’t think, however, that my resolve to move on from that, and to celebrate Holi would result in my humiliation.

My father insisted I play with my friends or neighbours from the building. It took a bit of convincing on his part, but I eventually agreed.

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The Events of the Day

Every year, there is a breakfast arranged in the gardens of the society we live in and everyone is required to come to eat together before the festivities begin. I remember being both happy and sad. Over breakfast, amid the chatter, I saw a familiar face – Heer* (name changed).

Heer was a part of our society some years ago, and then eventually shifted to another building as he had to part from his young wife. I greeted him with a hello and then dived into my morning feast. He came to the table and started asking me about my education. As I was in the middle of a meal, I politely refused to talk to him. He looked disgruntled but still left. I was happy.

After breakfast, no time was wasted and people started putting colours on one another. I was busy playing Holi with my parents and family members as well. I then decided to go grab a glass of thandai, which was being served a little way from the garden. Heer was there too, and unfortunately, my thandai spilled all over his kurta.

I apologised profusely and asked him to get cleaned, hearing which he smirked. He then held my hand tightly and said “Thoda humare saath bhi khel lo” (play a little with me too). I was jolted. I tried removing my hand from his clutches as hard as I could, and ran towards the garden. I saw my father and sighed in relief.

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I tried to forget what had just happened. I continued playing Holi. Suddenly, I felt a hand over my waist and chest. Heer tried to apply colour all over my body and with utter force. The least I could do was stop him. I caught his hand in a fit of rage and pinched him with my nails. He couldn’t grope me anymore. I turned around and pushed him hard and he fell near a pool of mud.

The music stopped and the residents ceased playing. All eyes were on me and I was scared, looking for an escape from the miserable situation. My father came through the crowd and asked me why I'd taken such a drastic step; when I told him, he was furious. He picked up Heer by his collar and slapped him. Other residents intervened to stop him. The security guards of our building then came to throw Heer out of our building premises.

This year, I am scared to play Holi. It might change colours for me.

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(The author is a student in Mumbai and wishes to stay anonymous. All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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