World T20 diary, Day 8: Hiding from all the colours of the Holi rainbow

It was Holi in India on Thursday see, the spring festival of colours, where any and everyone is a target for some good-natured smearing with a mixture of coloured dry powder and water, writes Osman Samiuddin.

Indian revellers are smeared with powdered colors on each other’s faces as they celebrate the Holi festival in Mumbai, India, 24 March 2016. EPA/DIVYAKANT SOLANKI
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I had one and only one aim on Thursday.

It was not to attend Pakistan’s practice session and news conference ahead of Friday’s game against Australia, not even to document the team’s ongoing unravelling.

Neither was it to check in on Australia and see how they were getting on with this whole World Twenty20 malarkey.

And Shane Watson was announcing his retirement to his team in a huddle before practice, but that was not the aim either.

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Or OK, these were some of the aims of day, but my main aim was to not get coloured.

It was Holi in India on Thursday see, the spring festival of colours, where any and everyone is a target for some good-natured smearing with a mixture of coloured dry powder and water.

It could happen anywhere and the key is to avoid boisterous groups of young men and women who look like they might have walked through a real-life rainbow and picked up its colours along the way.

On two previous visits to the country during Holi I have been drenched. Once, in Delhi, a friend opened the door to me by hurling a bucket full of coloured water, drenching me and ruining my phone.

On another, I made the mistake of wearing a white shirt on the day – it is a mistake only if you, like me, had no idea it was holi that day. It is, as I discovered, like a red rag to a bull.

This year, for the first time, the provincial government of Sindh in Pakistan, announced Holi as a public holiday in that country as well. Hindus form around two per cent of Pakistan’s population and the vast majority of them live in the province.

The chances of getting drenched in colours there, however, remain slim.

osamiuddin@thenational.ae

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