Late afternoon the market had been replaced by a mass of dancing men, circling, group by group, around a monument in a central square. There were a lot of policemen. I saw no drinking, but things were getting juicy, just the same.
All the men are holding a length of sugar cane. I don’t know why. The never-ending circle is a sea of dancing sticks held high in the air. Turbans dancing, round and round, sticks waving. Watching this huge circle and all the other smaller ones, were hundreds and hundreds of women, dressed in their finest. They stood like rainbows on the rooftops, leant over balconies, spilled out of windows, crowded on the street watching the men circle, gossiping and giggling amongst themselves. I could slip through their sightlines without raising a ripple. There was another agenda entirely going on.
Bands of musicians roam the outskirts. I follow a troupe of men with thick red spaghetti draped in a turban around their heads, each blowing into a decorated flute, moving in rows, two steps forward, one step back. Fourteen of them, floating in formation, back and forth, to and fro, lost in a drone.
HOLI in CHHOTA UDEPUR