Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Celebrating Spring

Holi hai!
Yesterday was Holi, the Festival of Colours welcoming Spring. The festival of exuberance, outrageousness and, yes, of mischief.

Today Mumbai is lolling in the aftermath of an overdose of celebration, trying to wash off lingering traces of colour from hair turned electric blue and ears dyed shocking pink. Executives struggle to cover up neon green noses and school kids scrub at violently purple fingers.

All the while reliving the fun of battles fought. Of clouds of coloured powder flung. And squirting water pistols, and hurling water balloons to *splatch!* so satisfyingly in a drenching burst of colour . Exuberance is the qualifying word on Holi.

How can I leave my garden behind in this celebration? Splotches of outrageous colour are making their presence felt here too.

From elegant mauves and lilacs

to stunningly regal purples,

and blooming in an explosion of fiery orange

streaming into a cool river of green

spilling over in a flurry of shocking pink,

glorying in the golden hues of the sun,

washing the day in passionate reds entwined with sulphurous yellows

trumpeting joy and celebration in brilliant hues

of bright cheery yellows

and deliriously happy sky-touching blues.

Whites and pastels have no place on Holi ... except as an invitation to transform them into heart-throbbingly pulsating colours of the brightest hues. It's celebration time !


  1. Your garden's celebration of Holi is simply brilliant!

  2. Happy holi to you too... lovely pics..

  3. Such a great selection of stunning blooms ... marvellous colours.

  4. Happy Holi to you Sunita. This morning I was watering my plants and there was a freshness in the air with a bit of excitement. My plants looked a bit perkier than usual and am hoping that we get some rain quite soon. Holi is celebrated in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago by the diaspora. It is also known by another name I can't recall at this time.

  5. Flowers must have real effect and influence on colourful festival and dress that man had been living with for centuries.... ~bangchik

  6. What a fun post, I love the expression 'outrageous colour'. :)

  7. Thanks, Kamini. It seemed rather unfair to leave my garden out of all the celebrations :D

    Thanks, Patricia :)

    Hi Bernie! I'm sure you must be having most of these plants in your own tropical garden, right? Still, it's always fun to see them again, hmm?

  8. Helen, as usual you always surprise me. I had no idea that Holi is celebrated in your part of the world.
    I'll do a little rain-dance for you and keep my fingers crossed too ;)

    Definitely, Bangchik! They are the original splashes of colour, after all.

    Hi Rebecca! I'm so glad you liked this post :)

  9. Our Indian community celebrating Holi this year were overshadowed by the Olympics, I think.
    Your garden rivals those colors but here all the color is welcome especially on a not-so-sunny day.

  10. Hi..So u r back with the flower pictures u like :)..nice to see the post

  11. When I first saw the picture of the hair I thought what is wrong with that picture. LOL! I found out after I started reading. What a fun way to celebrate spring.
    Your pictures of many brilliant colors of blooms are just gorgeous Sunita.

  12. Wow! Lovely post.. always love the pics from your garden!
    And ..yes.. exuberance is apt!

  13. Have something for you

  14. Such an exuberance of colour spilling over. Great festivities for all. I love the strong colours in the tropical garden as they match the strong glare of the sun. I grow the Coleos with the lime green crochet border, it is so beautiful.
    You asked me what sort of Mangoes we grow. The earliest we harvest is Tommy Atkins, the latest is Keitt, the best is Pico, we grow a few more also a very big one called E2R2 which I think is a hybrid.

  15. Stephanie, do you have a big Indian community where you live? The Olympics would naturally overshadow anything else I'm sure. There's always so much of excitement and drama around it.

    Yes, Deepa. I'm back to blogging more regularly :)

    Lona, isn't that electrifying? That was one of the watchmen of our apartment building (yeah, he wasn't spared either!). He was going off duty and when I looked down from my window I just had to call him back so I could get a shot of his very colourful hair. That wasn't the most colourful though. I spotted a trio of old men whose grey hair was transformed into fluorescent greens, yellows and purples! Wish I had a shot of that.

  16. Hi Priya! Exuberance seems to be a word that was specially made for Holi, doesn't it?
    And thank you so much for the award. I love it!

    Trudi, you're absolutely right about tropical colours. "crochet border" ... what a perfect description!
    The Keitt mango is supposed to have originated from the Mulgova mango of India. If that's true, it must be really delicious. I havent tried the others. There are over 1000 varieties of mangoes growing all over India with each region having its own favourites. Here in western India, especially Mumbai, the Alphonso mango is king.

  17. Happy Holi, Sunita!

    Spring has arrived and may it brings beautiful blossoms to your garden.

  18. I am guilty of having escaped Holi and travel away on a vacation instead. It was a consciously planned decision to enjoy the hills and to avoid scrubbing the purple, green, red, yellow colors off the face and fingers. But after reading your post I wish I could turn back the wheel of time and enjoy the festival of colors. Your description has suddenly made me yearn for the fun and frolic of Holi...will definitely be there for the fun next year.

  19. GT, I know , cleaning up after Holi can be a major pain but the rest of it is so much fun!
    BTW, I'm curious... don't they celebrate holi up in the hills?

  20. A garden such as this is like celebrating Holi all year :-)

  21. Wow! Love the exuberance n colours associated with Holi and the garden alike. Happy Holi to you and your family (though belated). I can see the HOLI colours abound on your cheerful blog.

  22. WOW! What a treat, Its so beautiful.

  23. What a lovely vibrant splashed of color. I love the orange ones and the lilacs. Spring is in full boom here in lahore as well. Hoping to see more blooms in coming days so keep posting.

  24. Thank you, J.C. I really hope it does too :)

    Thanks, Anil. That goes for the cleaning up part too, doesn't it?

    Happy Holi to you and yours too, Radhika. Such happy wishes are always welcome, no matter how belated :)

    Thanks, Zindagi. Your beautiful hometown must be looking so wonderful now. My daughter is coming there on a school-trip and I envy her so much!

    Thanks, Muhammad :) The Ixoras are really flamboyant , aren't they? Yes, I will be posting regularly again ... I hope ... so do keep checking in often.

  25. Those are some gorgeous colours! Love how you describe some of them as sulphurous yellows and passionate reds and electric blue :)

    But loved even more how you describe the 'exuberance' of the festival of *splatch!* and squirting water pistols!!
    Lovely post!!

  26. Hi Sunita,

    No one could accuse Indians o being afraid of colour. What joy!

  27. IHM, I'm sure you must've got to celebrate Holi even more fervently in Delhi. Or were you caught up in the middle of shifting?
    Nothing but intense colours for Holi, right? ;)

    Barry, you're so absolutely right! What a brilliant way of putting it :D
    I think no other nation celebrates festivals as much as we Indians do. There's a festival happening on any given day in some part of this great country. Love it!

  28. lovely photos and write up.. but your garden seems to celebrate Holi all year round... :)

  29. Thank you, ER Ramachandran. And I'm so glad you stopped by.

    Gauri! It's so good to see you here again :) Thank you, and as I mentioned earlier, it requires just as much cleaning up after too (that's the downside)

  30. I love the bright orange and golden hues in your garden, and then right in the end, the 'sky-touching blues'! Our college garden has been in bloom for a month or so now, and it's only recently that we've been allowed in to enjoy... and i must say, everyone's making the best of this not-quite-summer time!

  31. Blabberblah, I'm rather partial to the reds myself ... so tropical!
    Your college keeps you out of the garden? How mean! So do you have a lot of interesting flowering trees / plants there?

  32. I knew Tejaswee liked and visited your blog, but I had not read this comment until now... I have a photograph of hers in her college garden, taken around this time last year... the same garden she mentions in this comment. And orange (and turquoise) were her favorite colours.

  33. This is again a very colourful post!!!!
    I really love your blog!!! I envy that you stay in such a great, green place in Mumbai!!!!
    Wish I had such a garden!!!!

  34. IHM, I would love to see that photo (if you feel like sharing!). And orange and turquoise sound like the perfect fit for her! I love turquoise too... and orange... and, well a whole lot of colours, actually :)

  35. Thanks, Aakanksha :)
    Maybe you could start creating your own green patch?
    When we got this place, there were just 4 old cashew trees on it. Absolutely nothing else, except for a whole lot of weeds! What you see in my blog is the result of years of planting and replanting. Of years of getting roasted in the summer sun and soaked by the monsoon rains. Of years of being just too darn stubborn to give up :D

  36. I dont mind starting my own green patch! But there is no palce around. We have balconies in which we have placed some plants-about 60. We just moved in a new house like 2 month and a half back in kandivali and now have put up new plants. Hopefully, they will grow, and grow!
    And your years of getting roasted or soaked or not giving up haven't gone in waste! They have made a beautiful garden that helps sustain greenery and biodiversity of Mumbai.

  37. You've obviously taken a step in the right direction, Aakanksha. Before you know it, those 60 plants will soon be 600 with neighbours seeing how good all that greenery looks and getting some of their own too. It always happens :)

  38. I'm drunk on the colour and the sheer joy. I'd like to be a bee in that delirious garden of yours.

  39. G, you should just see me now. I love that burst of growth that Spring always gives to my garden and I'm scuttling from one plant to the other (very much like one of those bees) trying to do as much as I can before I start roasting in the sun :D


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