Last Holi, when I was ousted from my paternal home, a loving dear friend decided to give me refuge.
It was the first time in my life that I played with colours. It was the first time when I wasn't covered from head to toe in oversized shirts or kurtas to hide my body and breasts if and when someone from the cherished extended family would forcefully sneak in and drench me in coloured water. It was the first time that I wasn't told to stay inside the house and reveal myself only when called for. It was the first time that I wasn't instructed to dress up in salwar kameez.
It was the first time that I played holi and ran around in a t-shirt, a payjama and a pair of chappals chasing friends. It was the first time I did not fear being groped and I wasn't. It was the first time I looked like a hybrid of a steel utensil and black grapes moulded into a human.
Post drinking the holy bhaang and singing, I carelessly snatched the dirty dupatta of my friend's mother and draped it around my head to complete the refugee look. My friend clicked a picture of me in my now horribly amusing attire. I sent the picture to you giving you a chance to make fun of me for a change.
Instead, you counted the number of times my dupatta was draped carelessly around my neck blessing me by running over my colourful head. You told me how you loved the dupatta doning my face that was drenched in the tradition of colours. You told me how beautiful I looked with my eyes piercing yours from that dark face smiling at you. I loved you more in that moment. I found home in you.
Two months later, you left me to be destroyed in your love and your lack of love. I marinated myself with the colours that dripped from what was left of us.
A year later, when I'm white and colourless, it dawns on me that you loved a woman who was draped in the dupatta of calm lacking the sequin made of confrontation. I showed my true colours. So did you.
That Holi, I was ousted from two patriarchal homes. One belonged to me, the other belonged to you.
Wishing everyone a Happy Holi (: