Somewhere in Spanish Fork, perched atop the ugly brown foothills we all associate with Utah Valley, is a large white Krishna temple. I am surprised to see even Baptist churches in such a Mormon setting. A fully functioning Lotus Temple quickly raises suspicion. Each year, the Lotus Temple hosts Holi Fest, or the Festival of Colors. It's hard to miss the thousands of people that post seemingly identical profile pictures on Facebook. This year, I gave into peer pressure.
When I crested the hill concealing the thousands of people dancing to the hypnotic words of a Hare Krishna song, I immediately thought of every scripture story condemning pagan rituals and dove into the crowd. Between the two sons of my stake president and my two gay friends, I figured things were pretty balanced. Weaving through the crowd as people pelted me with sweet smelling colored powders, I remembered something my friend had said about the perfect place for a terrorist attack. These thoughts were quickly drowned out by the ceaseless chanting of "Hare Krishna!" They spoke to us about love and peace all while halfheartedly attempting to get a path cleared for a young man who needed to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. I don't know if he ever made it because they soon put on an Indian version of Toddlers in Tiaras. I was still contemplating whether or not those little girls really wanted to be dancing for thousands of colorful sweaty Mormons when they started the countdown. Remember, I was already covered in a thick layer of color when this countdown started. When they got to 1, I witnessed the apocalypse. Everyone let loose with their hidden reserves of colors and we were encased in a cloud so dense that it completely blocked out the sun for almost a minute.
By the time I could breathe, make it out of the crowd, and find my friends I had decided that once was enough. I got home and saw all of Facebook with new profile pictures vowing they would return to Little New Delhi the following year to be blasted with more colors. Since I will still be cleaning pink out of my ears at that time, I'll have a daily Q-tip reminder that is more than enough for me.