Un-Holi Shoal-y

It is that time of the year again when I have to duck under my desk to escape getting swathed in layers of potentially toxic chemicals – or getting filthy water squired all over. But the worst part is getting held , grabbed , pounced upon by these  otherwise civilized people.

Yes its holi again, the festival I abhor most.
And like always all the non-conformists were pulled,as if by their collars – more so if they had new, bright clothes and even more so if they happened to be females, and still more so if they were reluctant or uninterested in joining, to the office terrace where this chemical warfare is typically staged.
Being a newbie in the organization last year I was obliged to mix (and in the process did irepparable damage to my absoulte white t-shirt which I’d been wearing for the first time).
This year I did not budge from my seat – for , most folks who already considered me an outcast for dining and strolling alone did not bother much – the rest , who had recently joined and didn’t know my (a)social status – had to be dealt with by a deft duck under the desk on the pretext of checking a disconnected cable.
Yes I did enjoy it once – when I was a kid but now – hey tastes change with age.
The biggest part I fail to comprehend is why these party-ers feel compelled to pull everyone into their “hole” – individuals who are not just disinterested but extremely uncomfortable – no its not just chemicals or colors or the shirts getting spoilt- its just not my way of ‘winding down’.
Why is it that in our independent country (esp) there is no independence to individual choice of likes or dislikes – why does everyone HAS to like what the majority indulges in ?
There are picnics which everyone HAS to attend – or you’re marked as on casual leave.
There are activities where strangers (belonging to the same organisation’s distant departments with no chances of working together) are forced into close physical proximity (like 5 people dancing on a 4 ft by 4 ft newspaper which gets folded into its half every few minutes, or people transferring “polo”s[“the mint with the hole”] over tooth-picks held from their mouths – or as simple as strangers being made to share the same double cot in the retreat hotel).
All in guise of team building? huh?
Wonder if anybody happens to have heard of a personal space , a breathing space – of choices to be made or rejected.
Or are we going getting herdified – like sheep or cattle – you stray just to fall prey to the unholy wolf called social ostracism.
Most of my friends’ tastes are dictated by what the majority of their peers (friends , colleagues or room-mates) consider appropriate.There is little inspiration to see that off-beat movie or to try that nascent cusine or go to that non-standard holiday destination just because there is no company.
A friend wanted so badly to go abroad – and when he really could – he almost never visited the famous places – the places he wanted to see – the momuments he wanted to have himself photographed posing in fornt of.
And that for no other reason than for the lack of company.