The year was 1999. I was 10 years old. The time was around 10:00 am. My mom had just sent me to buy some stuff from the shops in front of our building, in Mumbai.
So, here I was, going down the stairs, whistling a tune to “Baadshah mein baadshah” (A super-hit Bollywood film Baadshah). I came out of the building, and walked towards the gate.
Suddenly, Two guys popped out from nowhere, and caught me. It took me a while to get out of my bewilderment and realise they were actually my friends, S and T.
“Where are you going?” Asked S.
“Just down to the shops, to buy some stuff.” I replied.
“Are you carrying?” It was T who asked this asinine question.
“Carrying? Carrying what? I’m not armed and this is not the 70’s.” I retorted.
“Hmm. Come on, we’ve got something to show you.” S and T sniggered.
“But wait, mom’s waiting for me.” I couldn’t care less about the ‘thing’ they wanted to show me.
“It won’t take 2 minutes. Come on! You can take it home if you want.” S said while T’s muffled giggles turned into full-roaring laughter.
“Fine! And what’s with him? Had too much coke in the morning?” Bear in mind this was back in the days when coke meant Coca-Cola and we were 10.
“He’s just mad. Don’t take him seriously. He’s a bit off-colour today.” (‘Uske rang ude pade hain aaj.’ Loosely translated). S replied and led the way as I followed with T on my tow, still laughing uncontrollably.
They took me to an empty parking lot of Mr. Bisht. There they waited.
“Okay, now that I’m here, what is it?” I asked rather irritated by the secrecy and wastage of time.
“Wait for it bro!” T replied, seeming controlled. “Where are they? They should’ve been here with the stuff!” he said turning to S.
“They’ll be here.” T replied nonchalantly.
Five more minutes passed with no one showing up with any ‘stuff’. I was fed up with this charade and said, “Look buddy, I really have to get home!” and started walking outside the dark parking lot.
*SPLASH* Happy *SPLASH* Holi!*SPLASH*
Before I could open my eyes, I was covered in water, colors ranging from green, yellow, blue, violet, red and of course the world famous ‘gulal’. Around 30-35 water-balloons thrown at me and 20 more taking aim. I ran as fast as I could from that place.
To this day, I’ve never forgiven S and T for the heinous crime of playing a prank on me! It was the last Holi for me in that building because we shifted after that, and even now, every time I come out of a parking lot, I’m a bit cautious and since that day, I’ve never forgotten the colour filled fun-festival of Holi!
Revenge will be MINE!!
To all my readers, Wish you a happy, colorful and exciting Holi!