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In this last year, soon after Holi, I made my second trip to the African continent--a return to Makerere, to the famous East African University, not far from the source of the river Nile, in Uganda. I rejoiced in this land with flowing waters coursing through fertile red soil across a lush green landscape under the most beautiful and expansive blue skies.
My first trip itself, in 2010, though brief and uneventful, made a profound
impact on me. Of course, it took me back to our evolutionary roots, but
it also confronted me with my own ignorance about the world and a host
of questions and issues regarding Being in our world: the individual and
the self, collectives and their structures such as family, tribe, community
and nation, the grim facts about race and color, borders and boundar-
ies. I saw more starkly, issues about love, harmony, culture, toil and
wealth, about beauty and the abundant generosity of Nature... There
were questions about language and memory, transmission and loss;
about politics and domination, about greed and the will to power, and
the very corruption of the human soul. I wondered about the nature of
hope, of peace, of faith and religion, and of the relationship between
individual and collective destinies...
Of course, one doesn't have to go anywhere to meet these questions. They exist everywhere. But for me, the visits to Africa became a rich journey both inward and outward, in time, and beyond Time.
'CMYK: Portrait of the Artist as a Man of Color', is only a small part of the process of a slow absorption of that rich and profound experience. it gives me great joy to share it with you.
Let us celebrate color.
Have a Happy Holi.
Ashok Ahuja
March, 2013
Image, Text, Design ASHOK AHUJA 2013
Holi (The Festival of Color):
"Every year, thousands of Hindus participate in the festival Holi. The festival has many
purposes. First and foremost, it celebrates the beginning of the new season, spring.
Originally, it was a festival that commemorated good harvests and the fertile land.
Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring's abundant colors and saying farewell to
winter. it also has a religious purpose, commemorating events present in Hindu mythol-
ogy. Although it is the least religious holiday, it is probably one of the most exhilarating
ones in existence. During this event, participants hold a bonfire, throw colored powder
at each other, and celebrate wildly.
Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar
month Phalguna (February/March).
In most areas, Holi lasts about two days. Holi lowers (but dose not remove completely)
the strictness of social norms, which includes gaps between age, gender, status, and
caste. Together, the rich and poor, women and men, enjoy other's presence on
this joyous day. No one expects polite behavior; as a result, the atmosphere is filled with
excitement, fun and joy."
-from Wikipedia