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The Festival of Colors

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The morning was quiet, as it usually had been in my grandparent's new house. Well, it wasn't actually “new” at all. I just hadn't visited in years; everything was new to me. My uncle's wedding, just four days prior, called for the reunion of my mother's entire extended family and almost every room in the house was filled with tired, overworked relatives. The excitement of wedding preparations had inevitably died off and exhaustion was setting in.

I wearily exited the bedroom my sister and I were given, using only the balls of my feet to maintain the silence, and found my way to the front door. Usually, my overprotective parents wouldn't allow me to venture outside alone but the tall gate enclosing the house implied safety and they were too tired to notice. I looked around outside. March brought the comfortable, warm, wind of an Indian spring morning. However, there was a new feeling in the air, an elated energy that extended farther than my line of vision. Even Frosty, an ironic name for my uncle's sleek, pitch black, guard dog, was alert with enthusiasm.

Suddenly, I heard a slight noise resound from the terrace above. I refocused my glare upward and was surprised to see that someone else was awake. Just as I attempted to continue my not-so-solitary wonderment, I was startled by the wet explosion of a water balloon, soaking my hair and the collar of my shirt. I screamed, and within minutes all of my family members had woken and were preparing their water-balloons for battle. It was the day everyone had been anticipating and my aunt had decided to welcome me to my first Holi in India with an early morning splash. Out of nowhere, a balloon zipped past my face so fast that its air blew into my face and drenched the front of my cousin's old t-shirt. I could not contain my laughter as my relatives and I engaged in a heated water balloon war complete with teams and secret alliances. The festivities were occurring throughout the neighborhood and probably all over India.

One of my aunts arrived on the scene, proclaiming that she had found color. My cousins and I mixed the dry powder with water and loaded into the small assortment of water guns on the front porch. The weapons were claimed instantly. Vibrant bursts of red, green, orange, and blue whipped back and forth across the veranda, creating a mid-air whirlpool of color. All of a sudden I was stunned by a bombardment of water that left my shirt drenched in green. I retaliated with an army of water balloons.

The fun continued throughout the morning until the afternoon, when even the refreshingly cold water from the balloons could not defend against the heat of India. We eventually retreated into the house where we showered and changed. I had trouble getting the green out of my skin, but Holi was worth it. That's why they call it the Festival of Colors.



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