Holi Paint Party – Bangalore, India

I was pretty sure I had missed Holi, the famous Indian festival of colors. But it turned out, I was just in time. A large group of mostly American ex-pats gathered for breakfast before the main event. While everyone else was saran wrapping their cellphones and cameras, I was wrapping my head. I knew that if I got paint or colored dye powder on my dreads, I would never be rid of it. When all was said and done, I looked like Marge from the Simpsons but it worked like a charm.

We entered the party and immediately were in the thick of it. We all took turns grabbing handfuls of colored powder and throwing it at each other. We were a conglomeration of fuscia, electric blue, emerald green, lemon yellow and tangerine orange. I felt like a rainbow threw up on me. There was paint powder everywhere! And I mean e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. As the day wore on, we all got sweaty so the powder turned into paste which you can imagine got pretty messy. Luckily, the organizers thought up a shower situation on the dancefloor. It was like dancing in the rain and we all laughed as the colors ran together creating a deep purple mess.

I was pretty wiped by two so I went home with Phil and Rachael. I proceeded to shower as best I could before collapsing into bed. Needless to say, I spent the next week and a half scrubbing paint off me. My belly still shows traces of purple and there is green powder deep in my right ear that not even a q-tip can reach. One good thing is that they clothes I wore are trash. My backpack just got lighter.

Overall, I found Bangalore a bit impersonal and lacking character so I was glad to have Phil and Rachael to hang out with. I went to the mall, bowling, and ate out a bunch before leaving the city to the airport. Perhaps my favorite meal was an extravagant thali at UB city. The night before I left, Phil and I indulged in this godsend for indecisive people like me. There were about fifteen different bowls with savory, tangy, spicy and sweet flavors. They just kept bringing more and more loading up our tray. We both agreed thali is the Indian version of all you can eat buffet.

The next morning, I was so lucky to have my gracious hosts lend me their driver who whisked me off the airport. I arrived in plenty of time only to find out my flight had been canceled. I groaned and kicked myself for booking Kingfisher. Everyone knows that this airline is in trouble and about to go under. I didn’t think it would happen THIS quickly. I stood around waiting for a solution and fortunately, most of the displaced travelers were put on another airline also going to Delhi. From there I could connect with my next flight to Dehredun.

The whole trip went smoothly and I was amazed how modern and efficient the Delhi international airport was. They had some fantastic displays and art. It was more cutting edge than many of the airports I have seen in America. Who knew? I will be back to Delhi in a month when I will fly out to Nepal so I will get another dose of this place then.

Grateful for paint parties.

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