Mumbai: As Mumbai woke up to the festival of colours - Holi - young and old started the day not only with colours, but also with fun, frolic, water and laughter.
As the adults started with smudging the faces of their loved ones with dry colours, the youngsters, in no-holds barred sessions, threw buckets-full of water at each other, later substituting this with squirt guns and colourful "pichkaris."
Children also prepared water-filled balloons and took many of their friends and family members unawares by gently throwing balloons at them, drenching them with coloured water.
"I am so excited about Holi. This is fun fun fun...and I love it," said five-year old Gaurang Kamat who was the first in his housing society in Worli in south Mumbai to take to the ground with an array of balloons, pichkaris and colours.
By afternoon, streets in Mumbai were saw all shades of colours - dry and otherwise -being thrown by people on each other. Several housing societies across Mumbai also arranged for music systems to add to the fun.
Children and adults danced to the foot-tapping numbers like "Rang barse, bheege chunarwali", "Aaj naa chhodenge bas hum," "Holi khele raghubeera" and so on.
A group of college children in suburban Kandivli in northwest Mumbai hid behind trees in their housing society and sprayed every passerby with coloured water and shouted "Holi Hai", catching them unawares. The passersby joined then and paid back with smudging them with "gulaal".
"It is very pleasing to know that the other members of our society are taking our prank sportingly. After all, you cannot complain of being smudged with colours on Holi," said 18-year-old Soham Shah.
While sweets were being distributed by many members of the housing societies voluntarily out of love for the revellers, most societies had organised special lunches at the common meeting space to save the trouble of cooking after a fun-filled day.
"Bhaang" (Hemp) was also served at many of these societies, albeit it did not take one to a high, leading to misbehaviour as seen in many movies.
"We sure served bhang, but it was non-alcoholic and even children could have it. We didn`t want any incident to take away the fun," said Ismail Shaikh, a committee member of a housing society in Andheri in northwest Mumbai.
Mumbai Police, however, kept a close watch at public places and were on alert if any untoward incident happened.
Elderly devotees also visited local temples and offered special prayers on the occasion.