Abhijit Sarkar, in his throaty voice, wished everyone a Happy Holi. Sarkar, corporate professional, and a part time artiste, touched upon the various aspects of the festival of colours in melody. Invoking Lala Madhav Rai Chauhan, Sarkar said that every colour of Holi manifests the various hues of friendship. After he breaks into a melodious Holi song, he reiterates that it’s all about a little bit of masti and some teasing.
“Fagun aaya jhoom kar,
Khub kar diya hurdang…”
It’s difficult to imagine that Sarkar, who was appointed as the Vice Chairman of the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) in February, can be such a mellifluous singer. In the video, he admits that he isn’t a professional singer, and isn’t trained in the art. He has been associated with the Sahara India Pariwar since a decade and a half. Abhijit Sarkar talks about how Holi unites India. As the Hindu month of Falgun sets in, there’s a change in the weather. It sets the heart aflutter with a strange fragrance, and silently sets the mood for Holi.
India, a country that boasts of variety, celebrates Holi in different forms. There’s a Shiv Holi, where the Lord’s pichasas dance and make merry. The Awadh region has a very distinct way of celebrating Holi. Sarkar explains that in Ramraj, Holi has been uniting Hindus and Muslims since the time of Wajid Wali Sahaab. Once, Holi and Muharram fell on the same day. Wajid Wali Sahaab asked why the people were not playing the Hindu festival, to which they replied that it was in reverence of Muharram. He then said the Hindus have proved their brotherhood and announced celebration of Holi in entire Awadh.
The last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar would invite his ministers to his fort to apply colours during the festival. In Rajasthan, the spirit of Holi is evident in the Mewar paintings. Amir Khusro, a 13th Century Sufi poet, celebrated Holi in the precincts of Hazrat Nizammuddin dargah. Sarkar rightly says that the colours of Holi wash away the confines of caste and religion.
In Punjab’s Anantpur Sahib, Holla Mohalla marks the festival. In West Bengal, poet Rabindranath Tagore celebrated Basantotsav in Shantiniketan. The same festival takes the form of Dhulendi in Delhi, Haryana and the nearby areas. Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh call it the Rang Panchami, while the Konkanis observe it as Shimga.
The people of Tamil Nadu break into festivities with Kaman Pandigai, whereas those in Rajasthan consider it as one of the biggest Hindu festivals. Holi has all the colours of nature. Before signing off, Abhijit Sarkar, says that we should let go the dirt in our souls, so that the colours of Holi shine brighter.