Wholly Holi

A Wikipedia definition does not do this Holi-day justice (at least not here at the University of Law)! 😄  The day started with lovely chai masala (sweet Indian spiced tea) from Sunderji (more on our cook soon) and later I heard the clap-clap-clap of young flip-flops on the tiles. (One might have thought that Santa Claus had come and I was about to hear from his heralds!) Aarza and Seerat came to escort me to their neighborhood where a Holi encounter was underway.


Dr. Shveta in a very academic pose filing water balloons for the neighborhood children (including Aarza and Seerat).

With my cell phone tucked in my pocket in a plastic bag, I joined the festivities, having purchased Holi colors to take back to the states as gifts. (Oh well…)

Equipped with colors, a bucket, a few water guns, and a car stereo blaring Indian tunes, revellers began the party. Teachers came out on their balconies to watch the fun from the Faculty Block. Young women watched from the Girls’ Hostel at the end of the street (upper left in the picture below–more on that soon too!).

Dr. Jennifer with neighborhood children and several students.

Dr. Jennifer with neighborhood children and several students.

At first the greetings start out calmly enough. “Happy Holi” and then colors rubbed on the cheeks — perhaps a hug. Later, the students were a little more exuberant– going for the full head smear in color. (Despite one hot shower later, I still have color in my ears and crevices. Pants are soaking in suds. I have a feeling they will always be my Holi pants.)

Dr. Shveta kept everyone supplied with water balloons and buckets of water for reloading squirt guns. She was a master of ceremonies.

Dr. Shveta at the spigot with children waiting for Holi "ammo."

Dr. Shveta at the spigot with children waiting for Holi “ammo.”


Later when the tame neighborhood gathering dispersed, Dr. Shveta and I went to see the gathering students at the sports field.  A water truck had been left for them…. this was serious business. Serious mud bath with bucket assist business! I tried to stay away from the mud and focus on the colors- which were so fun. Easter eggs are nothing compared to Holi colors 🎨  !

Ritika and Dr. Jennifer

Ritika and Dr. Jennifer

The women were a little late in arriving…. oiling hair and skin so that the dye would not stain… But once they joined, it was an equal opportunity Holi. The mud went flying in their direction, too. I saw several women who were quite handy with the mud buckets!

Dr. Shveta set me up with a chair and I played cell phone/eye glasses monitor in the Indian morning sunshine while the carousing got even more muddy.

Music could be heard from the Boys’ Hostel but I was informed that it wasn’t loud enough for dancing (I could have managed, but the time did not see right).

IMG_1125The laughter was infectious. Here were neighborhood children, college students, and two of their professors, scampering about playing with colors, water, and mud in the warm spring sunshine. When was the last time you did anything like that?

You know who!

You know who!

“If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is!”


About Jennifer Drobac

R. Bruce Townsend Professor of Law Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law~ I began my journey in the San Francisco Bay area. A student at CPS in Oakland and then at Stanford University, I worked for several years before attending law school, again at Stanford. A trip around the world after taking the California Bar introduced me to more distant lands than I had seen during school days. I returned to clerk for Judge Barefoot Sanders in Dallas, Texas where I gave birth to Michal McDowell-- the best first born daughter and future doctor one can imagine. When she was two, we moved to Santa Cruz, California where I opened my own law practice. After I earned my doctoral degree (in law) at Stanford, I hit the road again and settled here in Indiana where I teach at IU McKinney. As I anticipate exploring the world again as a Fulbright Specialist (starting in India), I start this blog. A travel log of adventures in midlife!
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1 Response to Wholly Holi

  1. Shveta says:

    It was such great visit!!

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