Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Today was Holi: a festival and national holiday in India. Wikipedia has tells you all about it. Well, it tells you the significance of the festival but not so much about what actually happens on the day. And no, there weren't any special drinks, only sweet chai.

So, what does happen? I'm happy to inform you that the main activity of the day was chasing women around the lawn and pouring buckets of water over them. This is a fun festival. As well as buckets there are various water propelling weapons that come into play: pistols, pressure guns and plunger devices that work on the bicycle pump principle. Water on its own is a bit clean so lurid dyes are added. The colours are mostly water soluble but I have a few pink, yellow and blue stains despite showering and swimming. A chemical analysis of the dyes would no doubt prove amusing.

The apartment complex has some water points at the bottom of the flats. Today they were used for refilling the buckets. Since people coming to a tap were out of ammo the taps proved a useful ambush point. To avoid a soaking from armed opponents one had to rush in and control the tap. The taps had a length of hose attached and if you could grab this the enemy could be held at bay. These taps are very high pressure and provided excellent deterrent value once control was seized.

Interestingly circle strafing works in real life. Keeping a pressurised water gun trained on a bucket wielder, whilst running around them usually avoided a soaking and simultaneously drenched the opponent. DooM and Quake skills find a real world use - they're not a waste of time!

Here's some photos to finish up with. There are more here.

This is us after the festivities.

Here's the neighbours.

Some very colourful people.

Even the flowers were not spared.


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