We got to celebrate Holi in India this time. I was pleasantly surprised with how much urban India has changed in how it celebrates the festival. I feel rural India still predominantly celebrates it organically as they probably have less access to pigments and dyes. Newspapers had many sections on raising awareness against artificial Holi colors. There were a good number of sections on creating water colors through natural means such as flowers, vegetables and fruits.
We got 2-packets of dried tesu (Butea monosperma) flowers. Making a yellowish color from it was easy -- boil them with water and leave them overnight. This gave us enough color to fill a normal size pail. We also got herbal Gulal, dry powdered color from a grocery store.
It was really satisfying to see Sameer enjoy Holi with his family. He easily learnt how to use the pichkari. He sprayed the yellow color from tesu to all and didn't mind being sprayed at. He wished all "Happy Holi" and "होली की बधाई". We got to celebrate it guilt-free with natural colors.