Do You See?
March, one morning. Spring festival on my university campus. Holi. Colors — powder, water balloons, water guns, even buckets of colored water…! Friends finish a quick breakfast and rush out to meet on the Jhelum Lawns. On the open stage teams are assembling to sing and parody — it’s the “Chaat Sammelan” (sorry, no translation!). We’ve already had the traditional bhaang drink from the kitchen staff who’d soon take the day off, and we’re getting high with the riding sun forcing open flower buds. Someone’s got sweets from home. We eat. We throw colors on friends and even a few strangers. We sing. Loud, boisterous. Clap and dance too. The lawn becomes a pink-red-yellow-green cloud. We float on it. It’s spring, so some loves are sworn. Some are spurned too. Later, our group flocks to professors’ quarters to wish them. We get more colors and some more snack to nibble on! By late afternoon, we want to shower and sleep. One lone guy, still high on the cannabis, sits under a tree and beats a drum.
Even I can’t stop humming : Chalat musafir moh liyo re // pinjrewali muniyaa // udd udd baithi panwadiya dukaniyaa // beedey ka sara ras le liyo re pinjrewali muniyaa //…!!
A song about the ‘muniya’ bird enticing travelers, pecking off on sweets and coloring its beak with the taint of ‘paan’ — double entendre all the way!