With cases dipping and government lifting several restrictions, Holi celebrations have started days in advance in several neighbourhoods of the city. Gated complexes and housing complexes have chalked out elaborate plans for Holi parties.
While some have hired DJs for music during the celebrations, others are planning to set up food stalls. Bigger complexes have also made arrangements for dance floors and rain dance.
This has come as a shot in the arm for several industries and individuals who provide service during the festival. In 2020 and 2021, most housing complexes and other organisations had cancelled Holi celebrations over safety concerns. This meant loss of earning opportunities for several people.
Nimesh Aggarwal who owns an event management company has been engaged by several housing complexes in South Kolkata to provide DJs for the Holi party which will continue till Sunday.
“Last two years we did not get any business during Holi because all parties were cancelled due to the first and second waves. But this year, se- veral parties are happening as cases are low and government has eased many restrictions. I will be providing DJs for many parties for the next three days. Several youngsters who work in my company as DJs will get an opportunity to earn,” said Aggarwal.
One of the hallmarks of Holi celebration is pre-Holi get-togethers over poetry sessions and comic acts. Banquet halls in Burrabazar, MG Road, Kankurgachhi, Lake Town and Salt Lake have been booked every day for Holi get-togethers. This year several groups have been organising these get-togethers since the last weekend.
Akash Tripathi, who does stand-up comic acts in weddings and parties, has been busy for the past one week performing in several Holi get-togethers. “On an average, I am performing in two parties per day this Holi. Last two years, I did not get any bookings. Since these get-togethers are happening after two years, organisers are willing to pay well,” said Tripathi.
Housing complexes are arranging for community breakfasts and lunches for which they are hiring cooks and decorators. “All the members of our housing complex will be having breakfast and lunch together. It will be prepared in the complex itself by the cooks we have hired,” said Paramita Adhikari, secretary of the cul- tural wing of Green Wood Sonata in New Town.
Several temporary shops have come up in various neighbourhoods selling colours, water guns, headgear and masks.
“The sales have been very good this year when compared to last two years. Holi enthusiasts have been purchasing different colours, headgears, water guns and masks,” said Anil Singh, who has set up a shop on Kalakar Street.