Story: A safe and happy Holi!

It was a beautiful sunny morning. As the first sun rays hit the red brick house on the edge of the lake, Radhika burst in the door to wake up her younger brother Raj. “Wake up, come on, be quick you sleepy head, it’s Holi!” she said. Raj and Radhika shared the room and Radhika had to fuss with Raj every day in the morning because he was such a late riser.

But how could Raj be late today, it was Holi! He woke up after a while. Both of them raced downstairs, ate their breakfast quickly, and drank up their milk with a gulp! Their mother was so surprised at that. They sprang up, took their buckets and water pistols and ran out. “Bye Ma, we are off to play Holi!” Radhika shouted as they ran off to the ground. All their friends– Meena, Pranav, Sunita, Sahil and Anu were there. They exchanged mischievous smiles and jumped on each other with water pistols and colours. It was fun. Then they gathered in a circle to discuss the next move. They decided to go to the colony nearby.

Equipped with shiny new equipment, the team marched to the colony. They coloured everyone on the way, even if the person was not willing.  So naughty were those kids! Reaching the colony, they threw colours on the kids there. The team made quite a scene. Meena gave the colours to Pranav who mixed the colours into the water to make different shades. Then Sahil and Sunita filled the water into their water pistols and attacked other kids. Anu and everyone else made the water balloons and threw them around. Radhika loved bossing everyone around and Raj kept running to and fro, bringing more colours from home.

It was going well, but a boy from the other colony was too mischievous. He came from behind and threw balloons even on younger kids. When he broke Sunita’s water gun, the children got angry. “That’s the limit!” said Radhika. They huddled up and made a plan. Raj quickly went up the stairs onto the terrace of a building with a bucket of water. Other children kept balloons in their hands. Pranav went up to the boy and said, “Hey, I know where those kids from other colony have kept their water balloons hidden. I will show you the hiding place if you come with me.” He took the naughty boy to a place near the terrace building and pretended to sneeze. That was the cue! He ran away, and the boy was attacked with water balloons from all sides. A chilling spray of gushing water fell on top of him.  He ran away home crying and shivering. “Hooray!” A cheer of triumph was let out by the team and they too headed back to their homes.

After having a warm bath, Radhika and Raj ate the special Holi lunch. Then they discussed all the activities of the day. After some time the chatty maid came to wash the dishes. She told their mom about a boy Monu who was hurt badly when some kids threw water balloons on his head. He was taken to the hospital because of his injury. When Radhika and Raj heard it they gasped, it was the same boy they had attacked with water balloons! They told their mother it was because of them that Monu was hurt.

Mom immediately took them to the hospital where Monu was admitted. Their other friends were there too. They all went to Monu’s bed to wish him well. “We are sorry Monu, we shouldn’t have done that”, said Radhika. “It’s okay friends, I also shouldn’t have been so naughty”, said Monu.

Doctor uncle said, “Playing Holi is fun but you should play it safely. Always use natural colours to play Holi as chemical colours can do harm to our skin. You should not play Holi with those who don’t want to play.” And then he said, “Never play Holi with water balloons, Monu is not alone, many other kids are hurt as well.”

“We are very sorry”, said Raj. “We will always play a safe and happy Holi.”
“That’s like it kids”, said the mother, “Now how about a box of sweets?”
All kids shouted, “Yes! Holi Hai!”

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