Holi - The Festival of Colors - celebrated across Pakistan by the Hindu community of the country.
In Rawalpindi, there are hardly 600 Hindu families, mostly belonging to the Valmiki sect of Hinduism. There are two Valmiki and a Krishna Mandir in Rawalpindi. With the Colors of Holi being still in the air, sharing some photographs of a Holi celebration at the Valmiki Mandir in Rawalpindi.
The curator of the temple, Shri Jagjit Bhatti says that “ tell the world that Hindus in Pakistan are celebrating Holi in its full colors and glory, we are safe here.” This Valmiki Mandir, located at Chaklala area of Rawalpindi is a temple from the pre-partition era. It was built in 1935 and active since then. Post partition, most of the Hindus migrated from the area, thus drastically reducing the Hindu population in the city to bare minimum. This Valmiki Mandir is among the three active temples of the city where Hindus come to pray and celebrate their religious festivals on a regular basis.
A friend comments that these are sad pictures. The faces in these pictures reflect their minority status and not their religious freedom or their festive mood - as Holi is not a 'temple festival’ to be celebrated indoors, in the evening, but rather a celebration out in the open, during the day.
I have no words to counter my friends observation, but all I have, are these photographs and they are what I would like to share with you.