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She loved the festival too much to put it into words. When she got married, she only asked Krishna for two things. One, that her husband loved her, and two, that he loved Holi.


Krishna could not say no to such an innocent prayer. She got both the things.


Call it destiny or irony, your wish. The poor girl didn’t get to celebrate even her first Holi with him. One freakish accident and the colours were gone from her life.


He was dead, and she was left as a young widow.


Her transition from red to white was done quickly than one could imagine.


Who imagines stuff like this anyway?


She had vowed to hate herself till the day she meets him in the afterlife.


And that day was taking forever to come.

It had been years, she was old now.


Very old, and alone.


When her in-laws threw her out after his funeral, she had come to Vrindavan, to be with the only man left in her life.


Her Krishna.


An octogenarian, she now lived in a Vrindavan ashram with several other widows.


Some like her, some younger ones, but all of them looked like the same.


Same white cloth draped over their fragile body, same wooden stick carrying their petite frame, same helpless look in those lifeless eyes. Who could distinguish?


She didn’t even remember any vows that she had made about hating colors.


All she knew now was that she was not allowed to love colors.


Widows don’t play Holi.


It was that time of the year again, and this time, the rules were changing.


Last year too, some young kids had come and played with flowers and played some music.


This year, they have come with colors.


Red, blue, pink, green, and her Krishna’s favourite… yellow.


A pretty girl came to her and put the yellow color on her feet first, then hugged her.


“Holi Mubarak, Ma!”

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She looked at her with tears in her eyes, and then at the color that was sprinkled on her face.


With trembling hands that had more wrinkles than lines, she took a pinch of the shining gulaal, and put it at the girl’s forehead.


She was playing Holi, finally.


She closed her eyes and saw him standing there, with a Morpankh on his head and a flute in his hand. He too had the same yellow color on his cheeks.


He was her Krishna, and he was playing Holi with her.


She smiled, for the first time since then. Colors were back to her life.



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