Another Holi is over.
As I look at the mixed colours of the flowers outside, I can almost see three little girls, Sonal, Vanita and Gowri, sitting at the edge of the flower bed and drying themselves in the hot sun on another lawn in another time. They seem sad that Holi is over but are already making plans for next year. They'll have more water and colours ready next time to throw at Babloo, Vivian, Vernon, Bobby and Uday.
What a happy thought - next year! Only 364 days to go! Next year they will all be one year older - one year closer to playing the boring Holi that Viji, Rekha, Manju and others go and play at Mamta Sinha's house, playing the dholak and singing songs.
But not as bad as Maiji and Babuji's Holi, all they did was walk around the colony going to each house with the uncles and aunties, carrying dry colour and putting only a little bit of that on each others' foreheads.
Some doors never opened on Holi.
Maiji's plateful of ellu urundai was kept ready for visitors in the front veranda and next to it there was a plate with packets of red and green colour. Gupta Uncle, Uday's father, wore a starched white dhoti. Aunty, tiny next to him, in a fluffy white saree. Uncle had the second biggest smile - Babuji's was the biggest!
The girls would sit there in the sun until they were called home to have their baths and then eat. They knew that there'd be no more hot water baths allowed after today.
No sweaters needed, either, and best of all, they could switch on the fans in the evening.