1. Use natural homemade or organic colors. These are good for your skin unlike synthetic colors, which contain lead oxide, copper sulphate, diesel and other harmful substances.
2. Protect your eyes as colors can be harmful for them. Even harsh sprays from dirty water guns can damage your eyesight, so wear sunglasses that cover your eyes.
3. Apply cream on your skin and oil on your hair so that it is easy to wash off the colors. Otherwise you’ll end up looking colorful for weeks afterwards.
4. Avoid places that you know will have a lot of hooligans. Such people turn the festival into a day when they feel free to harass others.
5. Do not throw colors on your pets or strays. They have highly sensitive noses and can have bad reactions to the chemicals in your colors.
6. If you’re going out by car, roll up your windows and drive slowly as many people on the streets will be under the influence of bhang and alcohol.
7. Avoid taking repeated baths as this will merely dry your skin and hair. Take a bath when you’re sure that no one else will put color on you. This also saves water.
8. Don’t run around on wet floors and make sure that you keep an eye on elderly people when they are moving about.
9. If you decide to consume bhang or alcohol, be sure that you trust the group you’re in and that at least one person is responsible for keeping you safe.
10. Don’t throw dirty water, stones, dung or rotten food products on anyone. Without knowing it, you could make someone’s allergies act up.
11. After the Holi bash is over, instead of scrubbing down with soap repeatedly, use a cleansing lotion. This is much better for your skin than soap.
12. Since there is often a fear of communicable diseases, please be careful about who all you hug. Avoid mass gatherings and wear a face mask if you go there.
13. Don’t wear shoes or clothes that you don’t want to get ruined. Wear old clothes that you don’t mind throwing away.
14. Remember that Holi is a celebration of the victory of good over evil so please try to ensure that your behavior reflects that goodness.
Divya Bharti, an unsolved mystery