Maharashtra celebrates Holi
A riot of colours engulfed Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra as people celebrated Holi with joy and gaiety Monday, braving a sudden warm spell in the atmosphere.
Men, women, children gathered in housing complexes, open grounds and in clubs, resorts and beaches to celebrate the festival of colours. There was enthusiasm in Mumbai's slums too.
People smeared each other with different colours while wishing Holi greetings. The young sprayed water on friends.
Fortunately, water-filled balloons were practically absent as they have caused major injuries to Holi revellers in recent years. Some resorted to making water missiles with the help of tiny plastic bags.
There were private parties at several film studios and bungalows of Bollywood personalities and industrialists.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan decided against celebrating his birthday and Holi Monday in sympathy with the 28 farmers who died in last fortnight's unprecedented rains and hail in the state.
While assuring help to the farmers, Chavan urged his supporters to refrain from spending money on celebrating his birthday and instead donate the money for farmers' relief.
Republican Party of India president Ramdas Athawale also refrained from Holi celebrations for the same reason.
The festival was celebrated enthusiastically in the coastal Konkan region as well as Thane, Pune, Aurangabad, Nashik, Kolhapur and Nagpur.
Most political parties halted their Lok Sabha election campaign for the day though individual candidates moved around in their localities greeting people.
(Posted on 17-03-2014)