The country like India where widows have always been subjected to acute hardships – from the times when sati-pratha was practiced to the times when they’re still supposed to perpetually don white garments, this departure from age-old customs is a sign of an evolving society. Even more many of them have lost their husbands as teenagers, and have been living a pitiful life shunned away by their families & the society for decades.
This picture shows, during the ‘Holi Festival’ (most colorful way to welcome the season ‘Spring’) the precincts of the ancient Gopinath temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna, in the holy city of Vrindavan, reverberated with tears of joy of the widows, young and old, as they courageously broke the tradition of abstaining from religious festivities. Amidst the blowing of conch shells, they smeared color on each other’s face & took a temporary break from the irreversible pain that their lives are subjected to.
This brings to mind Neil Armstrong’s “A small step for men. Giant leap for Mankind” quote. Playing Holi is ordinary for us – even mundane, but for the widows of Vridavan, this one step is ushering in a change of epic proportions.