What A Pallava!

Your name sir?’

‘Paul’

‘I am Kumar. Your hair very good – very nice.’

‘Thank you Kumar’.

‘Very handsome man’.

‘How kind’.

‘I am stone carver. I carve stone for famous Buddha temple in Exeter.’

‘I had no idea there was a Buddhist temple in Exeter.’

‘It new one! You want see my stones? First we go temple – you don’t pay – I don’t do for money, but I see you are nice guy. I know special way. Come. Come….’

And so it began.

My ego up, my guard down, and I’d enlisted Andrew and I on another south Asian magical mystery tour. This time, chasing the young stonemason, at rocking speed, around the seventh century rock temples of Mamallupuram.

We staggered precariously along ancient steps, ingeniously cut from a titanic piece of granite, recklessly attempting to keep up with the young Kumar, who was practically Simian. We learnt later that this acrobatic detour was in order to circumvent the normal gated entrance, thus avoiding the need to purchase a ticket.

An artful piece of dodgery from our new found mate – though we both suspected the relationship may get rockier as the daytime heat began to rocket.

‘How the fuck do we get rid of him now?’ Andrew asked me far too loudly.

‘Oh just chill out a bit – we’re getting a free tour, and free entry’ I countered.  Knowing deep down that we’d be paying for both of those benefits at some point.

I knew Andrew thought the same. But Kumar was roguishly charming, if alarmingly pungent, and he certainly knew his way around the ancient temples of the ‘Pallava’ kingdom.

It was easy to see why UNESCO had labelled the place a ‘World Heritage Site’. The stone carvings absolutely rocked.

Along with the mad dogs it was, of course, just The Englishmen that struggled unnecessarily through the blistering midday heat. Our whistle stop tour may have been unplanned, but the location was so atmospheric, a veritable concert of rock, that we both continued on, allowing Kumar to lead the way.

The mischievous Gods and Goddesses danced out of the rock face, revealing the face of a society which had partied hard for over six hundred years.
And neither of us had ever heard of them.

The Pallavas!?!

Of course, the real Pallava occurred when we finished with the final meditation temple, and were lead conveniently through a gate directly into a small shack, in order to meditate on Kumar’s wares. His stonewares to be precise!

Suddenly the tour guide became the salesman, and we were both made to sit through an uneasy psychic energy session, as Kumar theatrically discovered our healing stones.

And then introduced them to us!

Each at a starting price more worthy of ‘The Star Of India’!

Immediately, we were transported back to the dodgy jewellery dealer we’d met in the suburbs of Jaipur, where we’d come across another absolute gem of a scam! These invariably Kashmiri Shopkeepers are sly, smart and deftly apt at the art of deceit. But they always possess a ‘tell’ – a giveaway – and Kumar’s came with his dreadful impression of an Indian mystic. He threw himself onto his own bed of nails as he launched into a dreadful mix of Derren Brown and Noel Coward’s ‘Madame Arcati’!

Hanging himself  with his own ropey trick!

The drama in his performance was nearly as exaggerated as his prices. Perhaps these blyth spirits think all Westerners completely off their rockers. We may give that impression!

But Kumar soon realised Andrew and I were not quite stoned enough to invest in his.

Then, as Andrew, playing bad cop, audibly hissed that we couldn’t afford the stoneware, and that I wouldn’t be able to eat for the remainder of our stay if we purchased the five items that had inexplicably found their way into our basket, Kumar tried to carve out one last deal.

‘This Ganesh. Good for good friend who is now without husband’.

We knew the trick. Kumar had obviously picked up on something we’d said earlier. The ploy was cheap but still impressive. Unlike the Ganesh we were practically sledgehammered into buying.

As Kumar realised ‘The Lola Boys’ were not the diamond mine he’d hoped for, his mood darkened. The glittering smile became a leering snarl and he barked in throaty Tamil to a colleague who was bashing away in the workshop next door. The workman, who looked straight out of the Stone Age, burst through the shop doorway, with a Neanderthal grunt and a wave of his heavy tool.

The one that cut the rock!

‘He not happy’ Kumar said firmly. The treacle having now dripped away from his voice.

‘Why he not happy?’ Asked Andrew, equally as authoritative, yet in an Indian accent.

‘Because he make this. Not happy with price’.

There was something mildly threatening in Kumar’s tone. Not least because we were surrounded by a weighty array of potential stone weaponry. Fred and Barney had disappeared and the whole drama had grown much darker – more ‘Game Of Stones’!

We’d definitely left ‘Bedrock’!

We stood in the dark for what seemed an age!

I was having visions of the billiard room in Cluedo. Professor Kumar had clubbed Andrew to death with the lead carving. It was time to stop this little game!

I stood. Sighed dramatically, and piped up that I was in need of air and beer. Not necessarily in that order!  That I had grown weary of the unexpected auction this jaunt had now become. And perhaps we would be forced to leave the rockery empty handed after all.

Kumar wasn’t the only actor in the room!

I then tried to appear as nonchalant as possible as I trembled past the giant with the ferocious chisel.

‘Ok’ said Kumar. ‘Ok’. He then instructed Boris Karloff to pack the elephant we’d agreed on earlier.

‘Thank you’, I said, as icily as a good pint of lager, ‘we’d love to buy more. But as you heard Andrew say, we shan’t be able to eat if we do’!

Kumar stared at me stonily.

I was caught for an agonising moment between a rock and a hard face.

Andrew grabbed the packet from Boris and we legged it.

Before we knew it he had led us into an entirely unfamiliar part of town and we stood sweating, legs leaden, attempting to get our bearings.

‘I knew this wasn’t the bloody way’ I gasped.

‘I just wanted to get away from him. That selling! Jesus!’, Andrew complained. ‘I was losing it!’

I had to agree. The hard sell was akin to being whacked across the head several times with a large lump of marble. These salesmen sculpt such a convoluted life story, that before one realises, one is lost in their retail maze, as they attempt to chisel away at one’s sanity. Mining skilfully  until they strike a precious seam in one’s wallet!

It was both wondrous and enlightening to clamber amongst the boulders into an entirely different strata of history – one we were both entirely igneous of !!!

But sadly our relationship with the pushy Kashmiri Kumar ended somewhat, on the rocks.

Sting! Stoned! Stung!

What a pallava!

*********************************************************************

That evening we were both laid out motionless on our beds, after too many hours spent negotiating the debilitating heat.

It was our last night in India, and we had mixed emotions.

Feeling burnt in every way possible, her beauty and her beasts managing  to sear themselves onto our collective consciousness.

The sweet stuff here clings to the imagination like the gooey Indian confectionary, found on every street corner, sticks to the teeth. One cannot simply brush it away. India’s beauty is both ephemeral and eternal.

And the indisputable ugliness? Well that just seems to disappear after a while. Down the pan quicker than a dodgy biryani!

I’m almost certain we shall be back to sample her wares once again. She is too much of a good saleswoman to give up on us completely, and her shelves too well stacked to resist.

Her people are infuriatingly charming. The geography sometimes unfortunately alarming, and the holy spirit, which undoubtedly resides here, utterly disarming.

Love ‘Mother India’ or loathe her, she won’t be ignored.

She certainly won’t go quietly!

As we pack our rucksacks ready for the long hike back to reality, I can hear her already whispering to me on the tropical breeze. Her hot breath invading my senses.

‘Namaste’ she purrs into the black panther night.

‘Namaste’ x

Vive La Difference!

Andrew and I have now traversed The Subcontinent, and made our way from the torrid heat of the south east, to the baking oven that is the south west.  We have now hit the steam-room of that ex French colonial town known as Pondicherry.  Or ‘Pondy’ to those in the know.

Oooooh La La!

Or Fuck Me!!!

This has to be the steamiest place I ‘ve ever been – other than an infamous sauna I twice visited in Munich, but that’s by the by!

The temperature here steadily remains above forty degrees et plus during the day, and creeps down only marginally when the sun bids adieu.

Even the locals find it tiresome!

My hair has gone crazy!

I have a look of Queen’s Brian May after a blow!

A ‘Blow-dry’ that is.

(God forbid the lovely Anita Dobson would do anything like that!)

 

We have appropriately arrived on the eve of the first round of the French general election, and are staying in the inappropriately named, ‘Whitetown’!

Madame Le Pen would be thrilled!

However, thankfully the place is nothing like it’s nomenclature. There are a few colonial hangovers, but most of the town seems to be run very successfully by Indians. Or should I say Tamils! One is never sure how to be politically correct here.

Here Here! As I’ve never been one for ‘Le politiquement correct’!

Our guest house has just four rooms, and is definitely one of the most charming locations in which we have lodged during our Indian odyssey.

It would cost at least ten times as much were it located somewhere in La France. Therefore I shan’t be revealing the name of the place.  Sorry!

It has air-conditioning to die for, which is preferable to the current heatwave here – which, tragically, is also to die for!

It’s a welcome treat for Mr Kennedy and I, as we’ve been quite adventurous when it comes to boarding houses this trip, up until now.

However, the cuisine so far has not yet come up to that of the unfashionable state of Karnataka, from where we’ve just arrived. There, the Tikka, Tandoori and hospitality were phenomenal. Not least, because we were taken into the home of a new found Indian friend and made as welcome as could be at his baby daughter’s naming ceremony. An evening we shall never forget.

But, let’s put things in perspective, here in Pondicherry they have cheese!

Proper cheese!

I had know idea that ‘fromage’ produced here in Tamil Nadu could be so good! I should have realised that since The French didn’t leave here until 1954, their Gallic pong is still incredibly fragrant. Not just evident in the dairy produce, but also in the architecture which has a charm that exudes that certain, ‘Je ne sais quoi’!

Today, Monsieur Macron would have been proud, as we elected to make a ‘Frexit’,  and crossed the stinking canal, making our way into the ‘Tamil Quarter’.

Or ‘Browntown’ as ‘La Front Nationale’ would no doubt have it.

Equally as chaotic as any other Indian city we have visited, it had a vivacity and ‘Joie De Vivre’, that is somehow lacking in our upmarket French Quarter.

Amid the humidity which was as heavy as the traffic, we stumbled for hours along uneven pavements, negotiating open sewers and bumping  into the most friendly of folk. Most of them more than happy to to say Bonjour with a toothy grin. Yet, also content to run you down at the drop of a ‘chapeau’!

Our temples sweated in sweaty temples and we managed until midday before we had to surrender to the blistering heat and return to the safe cool of our colonial splendour.

Sadly, this heated excursion has taken it’s toll. We have both lost about three pints of liquid, not to mention a touch of dignity,  as we’ve manoeuvred over cracked concrete and played numerous games of ‘Poulet’ with the ubiquitous rickety rickshaws. But it’s been more than magnifique to visit the other side of the canal.  The less fashionable part of town.

Still with colourful shutters, yet with less of the colour shut out!

Perhaps if Madame Le Pen were brave enough to do the same she may change her petite mind. I do not mean to be either political or judgemental. But ‘Browntown’ is so much more colourful than ‘Whitetown’!

Un peu more unusual perhaps. A tad more unnerving.   But no less chic!

Come on Marine. Don’t snort.  Why not leave le pen and cross the tracks?

And in the words of that marvellous Francophile Ms Petula Clarke.

‘Don’t hang around and let your problems surround you, there are moving shows – Browntown’.

Or ‘quelque chose’ like that!

Beached Wails!

For too many nights and days , Andrew and I have been practically marooned on a first-rate beach, in a second-rate guest house, with third-rate plumbing, fourth-rate bedding and fifth-rate company!  We’ve loved it.

After the rigours of Rajasthan it has been just what we needed. An almost antidote to India, but it has taken it’s toll…

I have developed a near psychosis attempting to tan in what is constant sunlight – and yet, failing miserably. T’is true I’m wearing factor 30, but without, I would resemble a Heinz Ketchup bottle within minutes. Minus the superior branding!

It just ain’t worth it, I tell my wan, washed out self in the filthy mirror, as a geriatric Oliver Twist stares back.  Why do I always become so ‘Dickensian’ during our travels?  It’s as if I grow paler by the day. Unburnished! Despite my earnest attempts at Bronze Ageing! Still, I gain assurance from a quote from the aforementioned author, that such things take time.

‘The Sun himself is weak when he first rises, and gathers strength and courage as the day gets on.’

And so, just like that great star, I shall live to tan another day.

It’s good to read – especially when beached!

And beached we have been. Outcasts ashore. Unwilling to crawl from our hermit like shells, much like some of the other more diminutive residents down by the shoreline. Their crabbiness has rubbed off on us, especially Andrew, who is now celebrating almost a month free from the claws of Mr Marboro.

Unsmoked, he has drifted slowly into quicksand and fast booze! This is not entirely his fault, and with my own vintage and effervescent history, I am certainly not one to judge. My husband has been helped ‘roll out the barrel’ by the carbonated charm of the bar-staff, and the convenient fact that the normal beer runs out terribly early and so the ultra strong – ‘husband-beater’ – is the only pint available!

This has invariably ended with Mr Kennedy either panicking in the sea, burning his feet on the sand, or losing his footing entirely. Today, after a particularly heated conversation, which ended with me telling him to ‘travel to somewhere fiery’, (or words to that effect), my hot lover jammed his foot heavily against an obvious brick and fell head first towards the just lit tandoori oven.

It was almost ‘Andrew Tikka’ on the menu!

I hadn’t actually meant ‘Go To Hell’!

‘Sit down’ I say. He seems flushed with embarrassment, or severely burnt – I can’t tell which.
‘Oww’, he wails, sort of manfully, ‘look’.
He gestures towards his left ankle, which is horribly grazed with skin hanging and plasma oozing down to his in-step.
‘Look. I’ll never dance again’ he says. Laughing.

Pissed.

‘I’ll get you the Savlon shall I?’  I spit.  Cold, hard and impenetrable after days of sharing a hut with a less well-heeled Jack Nicholson.

The beach was bringing out the bitch.

‘Nurse Ratched’ was beginning to kick in.

‘Itsh fine’ he manages.

After the entire establishment is greeted to a loquacious treatise on the rights and wrongs of ‘Brexit’, the plusses and minuses of arranged marriage, and the growth and implementation of radical Islam, Andrew then retires for a siesta. Leaving his entire audience wanting to do the same.

Exhausted, if not amused, by his malty rhetoric.

It’s quite clear it’s time we left this paradisiacal malaise and made our way on to harsher climes. Other Kulcha and culture beckon. Colour and squalor are calling us on.

Plus the fact we have to get to a ‘Vape Shop’ fast before Andrew runs out of juice – literally.

He’s down to his last phial of coffee flavoured liquid nicotine. If the pot boils dry I dread to think what could happen. I could be the fag he lights first.

He has a quick fuse when unlit!

There’s enough to last the night, and then we’re off, to inhale the fumes of another Indian city in search of the vapours.

I do hope they stock the stuff…..

All play and no vape make Jack a very dull boy!

I’ve hidden the axe!

Holi Cow Fatman – Don’t Lose Your Shirt!

Pushkar was impressively different from the moment we arrived.

We drove, or rather, carefully negotiated the seven hours from the national park at Ranthambore, heavily delayed, of course, by a road that was severely ‘damaged’. Surely an Indian euphemism for non-existent. We dodged crater after crater, mile after mile, as if travelling by ‘moon rover’, across the other worldly landscape. Through the dusty haze we saw hardly any signs of life, other than the odd village and a couple of camel farms.

Yet within the blink of a tiger’s eye, soon after arriving in the holy lake-town of Pushkar, nature exploded. In every form. Animals and humans existed with an obvious ease here. Side by flank. Hand to hoof.

The  stunning Langur and the languorous  stunning, strolling confidently through the painted alleyways. Hounds lay sunward, diverting the motorbikes with a dogged, canine sense, that told them it was safe to do so. The ubiquitous cow, nonchalantly parted everyday traffic. This was a town that definitely rubbed shoulders. And haunches!

We were fortunate that we had arrived for ‘Holi’, that most ecstatic of Hindu festivals. It was a colourful experience, that I knew, but little more. I turned to my cheap guidebook for enlightenment.

Apparently, Holi comes about because once upon a time, there was a wicked King, with an unpronounceable name, we’ll call him ‘King H’ for simplicity. He had, how shall I put it? A son that was rather light on his sandals, sensitive. You know the type! This son, known as Prahlad, had a terrible boy-crush on the God, Vishnu, thought of by Hindus as the ‘Greatest Lord Of All Times’. As well as fancying this pop star of a God, Prahlad, angers his daddy by disagreeing over a couple of other little things too.

(I should add, which should come as no surprise, I am no Hindu scholar. This is not, what one would call, an official version. More my take on things)

Not conforming completely. Whoops. Something a good son should never do, unless he is looking for paternal trouble! This was not a good move. The proud daddy couldn’t except such dissent, so set out to bump off his offspring!

After torturing his son, the king asks his wicked sister, Holita, (hence ‘Holi’), for help to complete his heinous task. She tries to trick her young nephew into sitting on her lap, whilst she nestles onto a bed of flames. ( As you do!)

But her evil plan backfires, when her magic fire-proof cloak, (very ‘Wonderwoman’!), flies from her to Prahlad, leaving her to burn and him to walk free. To Vishnu, I imagine, hopefully . The Indians just love a happy ending.

Talking of which, I was almost given one of those by a couple of over-excited  young gentleman in the crowd during the ‘Holi” celebrations. As paint flew everywhere, so did inhibitions. I’m sure this tactility would not suit everyone’s palette, but I loved the unholy nature of the event, even if there were a couple of stiff brushes to contend with.

Piss artists everywhere created random works of art all over town. Their canvass being anything that came within reach.  Indians, Hindus and otherwise, tourists and travellers, painted the town for hours, in the most joyous display of colourful anarchy. Andrew commented that this was probably the planet’s only paint-balling event at one time. Before the idea spilt westward. Whatever, we definitely had a paint ball!

There is such a playground innocence in spending a day throwing paint powder around. Wiping a rainbow of colour onto a rainbow of strangers. People you will never see again. Literally putting the colour into one another’s’ cheeks – and elsewhere!

Of course, being India, this wasn’t a day full of purity. Much off the frivolity was fuelled with a ‘special’ type of herbal yogurt drink, known as a ‘Bhang Lassi.’ I didn’t ask what was in the mucky brown beverage as I didn’t want to know – but let’s just say the afternoon certainly went with a bhang!

One of my favourite moments was watching two spirited young men holding what looked like a large bucket of water between them. They made towards their chosen victim, usually a westerner, with the intent of chucking it’s contents all over them. As the huge pail was raised above their heads and they made to throw it, the revellers would scatter in all directions so as to avoid a good soaking. However, the trick was on them. The container was empty. Each time the excitable Indians fooled another couple or other, they would scream madly. Laughing and pointing to the empty bucket. ‘Gotcha’, I’m sure they were saying in Hindi. I could have watched their antics all day, they were hilarious. I’m sure it ain’t the first time ‘Holi’ water has been faked, but it’s got to be the most amusing. Much more fun than a trip to Lourdes!

The playground games continued on, and we stood to spectate as a more rowdy group of lads made it their mission to strip the shirt from any man still silly enough to be wearing one. Unsurprisingly, tart that I am, I’d already lost mine early on in the revelry, during the first five minutes in fact!

But some gentlemen  had somehow managed to hold on to their clothing. Mostly, I noticed, the chaps of the heavier variety. These poor guys looked most unhappy as their coverings were forcefully stripped from them and  thrown onto washing lines hanging above, specially constructed for the purpose. This was a slightly uncomfortable show, with a definite edge. But as each of the heavier ‘Holi-day- makers’ accrued their own multicoloured coat of paint, they seemed to ease into their skin, and their initial discomfort waned. After all, they now looked just like everyone else. Perhaps that was the point this gang of democratic ruffians were making. We are, after all, all the same. Whatever colour we are painted.

This wasn’t the only edge. Some very serious looking coppers in khaki, gave some stick to many of the younger lads who were loitering once the festivities were deemed over. By stick, I mean just that. Some of the poor guys copped a good thwacking across the backs of the thighs, administered with very large knobbly canes. This had the desired result, and most of them legged it. Watching, it looked like a clear case of using a sledgehammer to crack a femur. But who am I to judge. They were, perhaps, very naughty boys.

It’s all been terrible fun here actually. A quite unexpected treat, as I was expecting the place to hum with a little more reverence. Of course it does during certain moments, and the locals are more than ready to point out one’s social faux-pas. For instance, wearing footwear anywhere near the ghats, the revered steps heading down to the lake, is stepped upon in an instant. The local shoe brigade brings one to heel immediately. But this religious tone mixes, almost imperceptibly, with the carnival atmosphere here. Religious men in white robes, sporting strange facial markings, stroll piously along the bazaar, carrying their two hundred fags beneath their arms.

Obviously a religious brand like ‘St Moritz’, but even so, no-one seems to be holier than though here.

We’d heard it was a dry city, so were prepared to forego a little libation for a little liberation. But on first arriving, we were immediately asked if we’d like a brew in a teapot. Or more correctly, a brewery in a teapot! Indian prohibition is alive and definitely, with a kick!

There have been a couple of annoyances. Two or three incidents, usually involving the younger nomad, dull and dreadlocked, and without even a quarter of an ounce of consideration.

As Andrew and I thought it wise to take a short break from the proceedings, I’d spotted a small table on a balcony which overlooked the ongoing party. Perfect for two forty-something artistes to rest their weary limbs. A spot to hang up their easels and enjoy another Lassi with a bang!

Unfortunately, a youthful, hippy chick, with a barnet the size of a wasps’ nest and a face to match, had sighted the seats too. As we climbed the stairs ahead of her and her friend, they attempted to push past us. Andrew stupidly allowed them to take the lead, ladies first and all that! Almost  shoving me over the bannister, they hurtled up the steps at break-neck speed, nearly breaking mine. As we arrived at the summit, they were already seated, and loudly ordering from the menu. Doubtless two tofu salads and a goat urine tea with wheatgrass. Highly spiritual! I looked over and shot them one of my best Bette Davis looks. The one with the wasp nest on her head looked slightly afraid, but didn’t move, and proceeded to light a huge joint. I didn’t think this wise. Not whilst sitting on such a precarious balcony. I mean, she’d need her wits about her perched so high, and so high!  Especially  if some bitter cabaret singer, with a green and pink face, lost his footing whilst searching for the loo, and just happened to knock her over the side. It was at least twenty feet above the now luminescent floor. If she fell, she’d most certainly get the grounding she’d come here for. I’d be doing her a favour surely.  I restrained myself, and merely fantasized about her getting fatally tangled amongst her dreadlocks on route down. Michael Hutchence style! Sick I know.

I blamed it on the Bhang!

Most of the other travellers have gotten right into the spirit and appear in possession of the right spirit. There are a few though, mostly that new bright breed of ‘gappers’, who disappoint. Many could do with having their gaps filled. Their heads seem full of falafel at times, and their manners nowhere to be seen. All utterly lovely individually, but with the charm of a pack of hyenas when grouped! It’s nice to not be the nation that is singled out for bad behaviour for once. It doesn’t happen often.

I’ve watched waiter after waiter deal with these groups, shouting demands whilst strumming a ukulele or swinging a couple of balls around their bonce. Circus acts, that in my opinion, should be left to ‘Cirque De Soleil’. At least then, the seated diner can be confident he’s not gonna get hula’d in the gob, when a stoned, fat bird,from Tel Aviv, loses control of her hoop! There is a time and a place love – and it’s not in public!

The Indians take this all in their stride, dealing with these graceless creatures with such an amazing grace. So much so, that I thought these artless antics went beyond them. But I have been made aware, by the few Rajasthanis, with whom I have engaged in the most interesting conversation, that the locals are more than aware of this inconsiderate behaviour. It does, most definitely, displease them, but they refuse to show it – that would be ill mannered.

‘We’ve learnt that from The British’, one particularly charming restauranteur informed me. I hadn’t the heart to explain that a short trip to Benidorm could have  burst that particular bubble. And he wouldn’t have believed me anyway.

Pushkar is a wonderful dichotomy. A ‘Mocktail’ of the pious and the pissed. Of hugs and drugs. Of the cultured and just plain culture. Some of it, I’m sure, growing in the unkempt manes of the malignant ‘Marley’ wannabees.

Still, we may require a push to leave perfect Pushkar. Perhaps even a healthy shove. The place has won our hearts, and we’ve enjoyed painting the town pink. Fittingly it’s that rosy hue that all of the pigments seem to become as they dry on the sizzling  streets.

The tribal drums continue to beat their own rhythm, alongside the electro beats that now pervade the place. It’s a complete anachronism at times. To watch respectable young Indian families, dressed in their finest, rubbing sarees with European, party-loving pot-heads, has been delightfully unexpected. But I do hope the balance stays just that – balanced. It seems fairly precarious at present, as there is a definite lurch towards hedonism here, and the risk of some losing their heads.

Absolutely, this is what ‘Holi’ is all about.

A festival of spring. Of colour. Of love and new beginnings. A celebration of good conquering evil. An ecstatic version of Easter perhaps. But let’s not forget why we crack out the egg-nog in the first place.

It is meant to be ‘Holi’ after all.

I fear, that should the colour of the festival grow too garish and the overall picture, become too irreverent, the evil Holita may return. Wearing her invisible cloak she’ll,once again, go into the fire.

And this time, it might not be her that goes up in flames.

Burn, hippy, burn.

It’s a disco inferno!