My Holi (Phagwa) Story

“Hey you,” said one of them. “Come over here!” I knew I shouldn't have been there. Bad things happen when you stray too far from home. Even at the age of eight I knew that.

“No,” I stuttered. I needed to get back as soon as possible. “I don’t trust you.”

The two girls were standing in front of the gates to a house around the corner from my childhood home. I wasn’t supposed to have walked that far because Crazy Lady didn’t want me out of her sight. Yet there I was, somehow far beyond the boundaries of momma’s rules.

“Don’t walk away!” She got louder. “We just want to talk to you.”

“Don’t be scared!” Chimed in the other, younger, girl.

I hesitated but eventually gave in, slowly making my way over to where they stood. I knew I had to cut and run as soon possible, so I prepared myself mentally. As I got closer to where they stood, I could see the younger girl wrestling to keep the grin off her face.

“What in the world are they up to?”

When I got to about the 10-foot mark from where they stood,I noticed something I hadn’t realized - Both of them had their hands were behind their backs.

How the hell did I miss that?!

At that point it was waaayyy too late. I tried to cut and run but there was no escaping this ambush.

“GO!” Screamed the older girl. Two pairs of hands unfolded from behind their torsos, and damn these girls could run. They got me before I could even shuffle my feet and try to make an escape.

Powder in my hair. Powder in my mouth. Powder down my shirt. I looked like a bag of skittles. They howled as they with laughter as they retreated into their yard as I was stood there trying to figure out what the hell just happened. Now I had to walk all the way back home. In front of the entire neighborhood! I wasn’t even supposed to have gone this far away.

By the time I reached the gates of my home the entire neighborhood was beside itself. And with one sight of me, my mother quickly joined in on the chorus of jeers and laughter. Half expecting a slap upside the head, I told her the truth of what happened, including the fact that I ventured beyond where I was supposed to go. Try as she did to appear disappointed at my defiance, the sight of me standing there, looking like that, just made her shake her head and tell me to wash off outside.

“I don’t want you dirtying up my house with that powder.”

Thanks mom.