This was his first trip to India in the month of March; that meant he could fully enjoy and participate into all the joyous and colourful festivities of Holi : a festival of colours –about which he has heard so many interesting tales from his parents. Spring comes bit early in India than most European cities. Garden was already bursting with flowers and fragrance. There was a big heap of wood in the front of the lawn and around seven in the evening, all the family members were gathered around it. After they made the offering of rice, roli and turmeric, then the Holi fire was lit . They all made three circles around it, praying to the burning Holi to burn all the bad luck and bring joy and happiness .
It all looked bit like the old pagan worship to Rohan, when they used to worship the elements, Sun, moon and the fire, wind etc. Many questions were bubbling inside, but he couldn’t ask anybody, because there was too much fun and excitement going around.
Children and adult all were busy in the preparation of the next morning, when the real fun began with colours and laughter.
They all showered and painted each other in all the shades of red , pink, yellow, Green and blue. It was a great rowdy game of songs and showers. Then every body exchanged the gifts and sweets and got ready for the evening ‘s get together again.
That evening, before he could go to sleep, Rohan got hold of his Dadi-Ma , and asked her the significance and reason behind these Holi-celebrations.
Dadi-Ma told him the interesting story of Prahlad, Which Rohan promised himself to narrate in his class in front of all his friends.
Prahlad was the son of the king Hiranakashyap. In his Kingdom no body was allowed to worship anybody else but the king himself. Once while playing outside he saw a potter making some clay pots. When his pots had dried, he fired the kiln and placed pots in it. Suddenly he heard some kittens crying inside. But it was too late to help them out , as kiln was already fully heated.
His wife started crying in anguish . Potter said to her, Do not cry. Pray to God. Only he can save these kittens.
Wife prayed and Kitten came out alive and were happily playing inside shiny new pots; when anxious potter’s wife pulled them out to safty.
Prahlad was deeply moved by it. He told the story to his father; the King. He also told him that he thinks that –‘ God is almighty and is the only saviour of all us .’ This infuriated the king to no end. He ordered that Prahlad should made to sit on a burning fire and he wants to see if his God saves him or not!
Prahlad sat on the burning fire in the lap of his aunty Holika, with folded hands in prayer.
To every body’s astonishment, Peahlad was unscathed, while his aunty Holika got totally burnt into that fire.
“ So Rohan! Holi is the Joyous celebration of Prahlad’s victory and God’s kind presence in this world!”
Dadi- Ma herself was feeling asleepy now after an exciting and busy day. And Rohan? …well Rohan was still lost in his dreams of Holi; thinking about those colourful photographs he has taken; which he was going to show to all his friends in England !.
– Shail Agrawal
Two children (small), one Four, one Five,
Once saw a bee go in a hive,
They’d never seen a bee before!
So waited there to see some more.
And sure enough along they came
A dozen bees (and all the same!)
Within the hive they buzzed about;
Then, one by one, they all flew out.
Said Four: ‘Those bees are silly things,
But how I wish I had their wings!’
– Spike Miligan