In a residential complex in Pali Hill, Bandra, there are no posters announcing a Holi bash with disc jockeys and a grand buffet, unlike last year. The residents, who would earlier celebrate the festival with hundreds of litres of water, have called for a simple Holi this time, because of the severe drought in the state.
“Some students in the society had made an appeal to save water after they learned about the drought at school, so we have decided to not have an extravagant Holi bash this year,” said Madhu Poplai, a resident of the society and secretary of Pali Hill Residents’ Association.
“Up until last year, we would put up several posters about Holi celebrations and bring in disc jockeys and caterers. This time, however, we plan to celebrate only for an hour and only with dry colours,” she added.
Several other housing societies in the city have pledged to not use water to celebrate the festival this year. Residents of Green Park Co-Operative Housing Society in Mira Road will play Holi in an environmentally-friendly way, without wasting water.
“Our state is suffering from a severe drought and hence it is our duty to act responsibly and not waste water,” said Parag Awasthi, secretary of the housing society.
Awasthi has convinced many people in his society to opt for a dry Holi, and has also posted an appeal for a waterless festival on Facebook.
At a Kurla housing society, a waterless Holi is the norm. “Over the last eight years, we have collectively decided to not waste water for fun, so we have been playing Holi in an eco-friendly way and without water,” said Yash Shanghvi, 27, a resident.
However, not everyone is keen to jump on the bandwagon. Some housing societies will continue to celebrate lavishly, with functions replete with rain dances and parties.
“We always celebrate all festivals on a large scale, since these are occasions where everyone comes together to have fun,” said Akhilesh Prajapati, member of a Bhayander housing society, which will continue to celebrate the festival this year with its annual rain dance.