And as India erupts in colour, what a delightful scene it is! Reds and greens, blues and orange, yellows and browns, splashed, sprayed, squeezed, and suddenly joy and laughter erupting from town and village, city and nation, gully, street and highway!

Yes, this year, Holi will certainly be subdued, but we are a colourful people and will welcome spring any which way, even if it is just the thumbing of a vermilion of cadmium red and titanium white on one another’s forehead!

The vet shakes his head as he looks at my old Jeff, “He’s on his last legs!” he says and it is painful for me to hear that.

“What can we do to make him comfortable?” whispers my wife, and is told of a waterbed, to look after his aching joints, and painkillers to relieve his pain, “and plenty of love and care!” We all smiled despite the sadness, because that is something, we can overdose him with!

As I drove to the airport that day, early this morning, my heart was heavy with sadness, I was going to say goodbye to my precious child and I drove in silence, “You okay dad?” she whispered, and I nodded,  glad she couldn’t see the tears welling in my eyes, but I knew, she knew the depth of my grief.

Many years ago, when she was born, my relatives had all been amazed at the closeness and rapport that developed between us. As a baby, crying with the pain of colic, all that was needed was me lifting her, and in an instant and to everyone’s amazement she stopped crying; just happy to be in my arms.

 ‘Bang! Bang! Bang!’

Not once, not thrice either, but dozens of rounds, from a lethal AR-15 assault rifle!

Not in the wilds of Africa or a barbaric area like the present Syria, but in Boulder, 45 kilometres from Denver, in the Unites States, purportedly the most civilized nation in the world!

Immediately after the horrific shooting, President Biden called for stricter gun control measures!

There are many who’ve tried to define democracy, and there are many definitions for the same, but when I think of democracy I think of a road. A road called Democracy, leading to one’s Utopia! It is a narrow road, but one on which we have to allow all others to travel with us, because democracy can only survive if we all drive together. Most times we don’t; some of us drive a bigger car or a heavier truck and with forceful argument or bullying muscle we try to push others off the road, but it is of no avail, because without those others alongside, there’s no democracy at all.