a long time, I had kept details about Holi, the Indian
spring festival, relatively sketchy. I had explained
to him the story behind the festival, told him what
people did, and described a few of my Holi experiences
teenager. He had seen some of my photos taken during
Holi and he was absolutely enchanted with the festival.
He had started to mention that he would very much like
to attend Holi celebrations during his next visit to
India. The discussions, however, rarely went beyond
that. I had never told him about the dark side of Holi,
and even less, should I say about the wild side of Holi.
I think he would have been just fine with the wild side
though I was not sure how I would react if I saw any of
my family members taking advantage of him during Holi.
I was far more
concerned about the dark side of Holi and what a negative
image he would have if he saw how girls were
on the streets during the days leading to Holi, how public
property was vandalized, and the overall chaos that
prevailed in many parts of the country.
Things were no longer under my control when we were invited to travel to India to attend my cousin Nanda's wedding during March. Mother called me to say that it would be great to have us stay for a couple of days after the wedding so that we could also celebrate Holi together and Mark would get a chance to join all the family members in the festivities.
As I looked for an excuse to return early because of commitments at work, Mark told her that he would stay for Holi even if I returned early. He would tell his
boss that he was exploring a new part of Indian culture and his boss would not have a major problem with his trip to India since he knew that he was married to an Indian woman. I had no choice but to stay.
Arriving in India and celebrating the Indian festival Holi
to an Indian man
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