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Holi Hai!

Friday, March 02, 2012

It’s time for the most colourful festival of the year, holi! Dev Goswami & Gargi Bansod suggest you make the festival an eco-friendly one and give you tips and ideas on how to have a safe but super fun time

Holi is synonymous with colours, gujiya, Bollywood numbers and bhaang. Every year, after the full moon in early March people celebrate the good harvest and fertility of the land. The new crop refills the stores in every household and perhaps such abundance accounts for the riotous merriment during holi. Nowadays, a lot of awareness has been raised about the amount of water wasted and the messy aftermath of holi celebrations. A lot of environment friendly colours have been introduced into the market which are made from organic products and not chemicals. We tell you how you can celebrate holi and be a little kinder to nature and your health at the same time.

Before you go out

  •  Wear clothes that cover most of your body and apply a thick layer of a good quality cream or oil on your skin. Stick to red or pink colours, which look good and can be washed off easily. The more gaudy purple, green, yellow and orange have more harmful chemicals in them and are best avoided.
  •  Hair is prone to getting spoilt by the chemical colours. Apply a generous layer of oil to your hair before playing holi to keep the colour from sticking to your hair. Also, try to protect it with a cap.
  •  If irritation occurs then immediately wash off the colour from that part of body and apply a soothing calamine lotion.

How to remove the colour post holi

  •  Do not rub your skin vigorously with soap. Instead, opt for a cleanser. Follow this up with lots of moisturiser, especially one that is meant for sensitive skin.
  •  Avoid using kerosene, petrol and spirits to remove stains, as they will further dry out your skin.
  •  After celebrating holi, remember to replenish and rejuvenate your skin by using a paste of soya bean flour or besan with milk. Also apply a mixture of sea salt, glycerin and a few drops of aroma oil. It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effect and can take care of the bad effects of chemical colours.

Making your own eco- friendly colours
For those who do not want to buy colours from the stores, we give you simple ways you can make the most common holi colours at home.

Red: Dry a few red hibiscus flowers and powder them to get a lovely red hue. You can add flour to increase its bulk.

Green: Mix mehendi or henna powder with equal quantities of flour. You can also dry and powder the leaves of the Gulmohour tree and mix it with the flour to give you a green colour.

Yellow: Mix turmeric powder with double quantity of besan (gram flour). Alternatively, you can also dry and crush flowers such as marigold and yellow chrysanthemums and mix them with besan to give you different shades of yellow.

You want to enjoy the festival of colour, but you are scared that the harmful colours will cause skin rashes and irritations. Dr. Mohan Thomas, a cosmetic surgeon at Breach Candy Hospital gives us a few tips on that we must keep in mind before and after indulging in the holi madness.

If you opt for natural colours, we assure you that your holi memories will not be tarnished by skin rashes and hair troubles. We tell you where you can find natural holi colours in the city:

Omved’s herbal holi colour set
The Omved herbal colour set has colours which are made according to the ancient traditional formulas using 100% pure and natural extracts of flowers, fruits and medicinal herbs. The set offers four colours: Manjishtha Red, Harad Yellow, Kasam Green and Indigo Blue and each colour has an unique natural fragrance giving you an aromatherapy experience along with your holi celebrations. Omved assures us that even if the colours get inhaled or end up in your mouth, they’re still perfectly safe.
Price `440
Where Omved outlets across the city and www.omvedstore.com

Colours from The Bombay Store
The Bombay Store has come out with Rang Dulaar, a special range of eco friendly and natural colours to make your holi a safe one. The colours use natural flowers and herbs and the Rang Dulaar range is available in five dry colours — red (made from turmeric, lemon juice, alum, beligara and madder extract), yellow (made from turmeric), orange (made from turmeric, lemon juice, alum and beligara), green (made from turmeric, glyricidea, nirgudi, hibiscus, indigo and other local leaves), blue (made from the indigo flower) and the filler (made from rice).
Price `250 for a set of two boxes
Where The Bombay Store outlets across the city

Colours from Mumbai Goes Green
Mumbaigoesgreen.com, the eco friendly website is offering a package of five 100g eco friendly holi colours. The colours have been made using leaves, fruits, roots, bark and flowers. The colours are packed in small pouches made of newspaper and come in a jute bag. If you truly want to go eco friendly this year, the range of colours from mumbaigoesgreen.com is what we recommend.
Price `225
Where www.mumbaigoesgreen.com

Holi Hits

  •  Rang Barse from the movie Silsila
  •  Holi Ke Din from the movie Sholay
  •  Holi Khele Raghuveera from the movie Baghban

Style your Holi
Wearing old clothes for a holi is passé. Inkfruit.com has launched a range of holi theme based pichkari T-shirts for both boys and girls. The unique designs are created by artists chosen from across the world. So, pick these t-shirts online and get ready to play! Also, at this price we don’t mind that it might get ruined!
Where www.inkfruit.com
Price `299

Tips to throw a holi party We give you a few tips to make your holi party a memorable one:

Make a guest list You cannot limit the number of people who will end up at your party as people tend to roam around in groups. But, try to get a rough idea for the food arrangements.

Colours & water The most important aspect is to arrange for colours. Make sure you use only natural colours. Also, arrange for some plastic pichkaris, water pools and water balloons. But, do ensure that you do not waste water.

Food Do not opt for a caterer or a muti- course meal. Instead, get an Indian halwai out in the open to make fresh pakoras, gujiya, dahi bhalla, sweets, chai and thandai.

Music Holi celebrations are not complete without everyone dancing to a Bollywood song. Or it would be even better if you could arrange for a dhol.
Holi gifts These are also an integral part of holi. Make your guests feel special by gifting them sweet nothings. Just a piece of mithai (or cupcakes) for everyone will suffice.

Thandai recipe
What’s holi without thandai? Try this recipe and make thandai at home:


  •  1 litre full fat milk
  •  1/2 cup powdered sugar
  •  10 to 12 black peppercorns (kalimirch)
  •  A few saffron strands

Grind the following together to get a fine powder:

  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds (khus-khus)
  •  2 tbsp fennel seeds
  •  1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  •  20 white peppercorns


  •  Boil the milk and then allow it to cool down completely. Set it aside.
  •  Add the ground powder and mix well. Refrigerate the mixture for 3 to 4 hours.
  •  Strain the mixture through a sieve and add the sugar, peppercorns and saffron. Mix well.
  •  Serve chilled.

Colourful food
For a holi twist, order some colourful cupcakes for your party from deliverychef.in. They have cupcakes available in six different flavours such as lemon, strawberry, mint, blackcurrant, orange and blueberry. They also have cupcakes with a tub of water balloons, pichkaris and plates of holi colours.
Where Deliverychef.in
Price `360

Water toys
This pichkari is just a finger and a thumb short of becoming an indecent gesture!
Price `150

This robot pichkari is ideal for kids
Price `350

Strap on these cylinder tanks and move around like a soldier.
Price `310

This smiley pichkari symbolises how we communicate on holi
Price `380

Solanki Stores, Pali Naka, Bandra or general stores across the city


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