Delhiites today celebrated the festival of colours with gaiety and fervour with organic hues making a splash this time. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wished the city residents on social networking site Twitter, only to add that the festival would not be celebrated at his residence this year as a protest against the ongoing sealing drive in the national capital. AAP’s Delhi unit chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj tweeted a picture of the area outside the chief minister’s 4 Flag Staff Road residence here, wearing a deserted look. “Unusual deserted look at CM @ArvindKejriwal residence on Holi. Celebrations called off to protest against ongoing Sealing drive in Delhi. Lacs of shop owners and workers are unemployed (sic),” he tweeted. The post was re-tweeted by the chief minister. BJP Leader Vijender Gupta and Congress leader Ajay Maken also tweeted their Holi wishes, with the former posting a picture of himself smeared in colours.
Taking an eco-friendly route this Holi, Delhiites daubed organic colours on each other. Children hurled water-filled balloons in friendly banter. “This time we are going the eco-friendly way. No harsh colours. The market is flooded with organic colours which are less harmful for the skin and easily removable,” Priyanka, a resident of Lajpat Nagar, said. Cutting across religious lines, people greeted each other and savoured sweets in celebration. “I love Holi. It is such a lively festival where everyone comes out of their houses to smear each other in colours. You do not have to belong to any religion to celebrate it. I am a Christian and I enjoy daubing my friends with colours,” said Neel, a resident of south Delhi’s Safdarjung Enclave.
From the posh south Delhi neighbourhoods to semi-urban areas in east and north Delhi, people from all walks of life came out in the open. Streets and alleys to parks and community centres were brimming with people celebrating the festival of colours. Several residential societies also organised get-togethers, exchanging warm hugs and sweets. People of all age groups shook a leg to ‘dhol’ (musical instrument) beats.
Holi parties and rain dances were organised across the capital i.e. at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Asiad Village and other areas where youths revelled by daubing their friends and family members with colours and posted selfies on social media in drenched clothes. Many people also savoured ‘thandai’, a popular drink on the occasion. The Delhi Police had made all security arrangements to ensure that no untoward occurred on the occasion.