A massive physical fair in the era of the explosion of e-commerce! Yes, this is what the Delhi’ites are about to enjoy in the fortnight of November 14th. India’s international trade fair did not take place last year due to Covid-19.
In this one-year gap, a lot has changed in the nation’s capital. Repeated closures and social distancing regulations have forced people to stay indoors and shop on the internet. While the removal of restrictions has taken time, citizens have become accustomed to working on online shopping sites.
The show has come at a time when people are settling down to locate their needs on laptops and PCs. Still, the fair is welcome with all its attractions, the most important of which in previous years was the gastronomic extravagance spread across the entire fairground.
No one can forget the chole-bhature, aloo-tikki, chow mein, bhelpuris and dosas available in clusters of restaurants organized by the administration of the fair. State pavilions also had coffee and snack stalls representing their regions. The fairs had cultural performances in open-air theaters. Elders will certainly compare the upcoming fair with the previous ones.
Known to draw crowds over the days, fairs have always had problems with parking. We remember having parked his car in the neighboring towns of Purana Qila Road. A little further, there were organized car parks authorized by the local authorities on lawns near the National Stadium. The upcoming event will be subject to social distancing standards, although Covid-19 cases have fallen to a negligible level.
This means that there will be no scrambling in foreign pavilions, nor during discounted sales of mirrored shawls at the Gujarat pavilion or traditional silk sarees at the Odisha pavilion. Unregulated crowds have often led to the separation of children from their families, which has led to frequent announcements over public address systems for parents to pick up their children from police booths.
The application of social distancing restrictions will determine visitor participation in the fair. People who have felt restricted in their celebration of Durga Puja and Ramlila festivals due to the strict restrictions will definitely visit the fair and make up for their loss of social interaction. They will come out dressed in their Sunday outfits and enjoy the outing. Fairs or melas have always been part of Indian life.
Delhi has even seen temporary fairs held in vacant spaces, with all their colors and breathtaking music, and the “maut ka kuan” (death pit) spectacle of motorcycles moving up and down deep wells. There were magic shows, hasee ka khazana with mirrors depicting distorted visions to make people laugh. It was fun to visit such fairs at 50 paise per ticket.
The development of the city has left no vacant land for these “traveling” fairs. Pragati Maidan presented modern fairs with different themes. The theme of the upcoming fair is “Atmanirbhar Bharat”. He will be sure to catch glimpses of India’s economy quickly regaining its glory, following the pandemic setback.
It will be worth it to appreciate how Made in India products are accepted in overseas markets. The location of the fair will be the newly constructed halls of the International Congress and Exhibition Center, as well as the old halls. If the show has come, can the circus be far behind? The circus activity ended with the Covid-19 epidemic.
The lawns of the Red Fort were a favorite spot for one of the greatest circuses to visit Delhi. It is difficult to guess if there is any circus infrastructure left in the country that can be revived and entertain today’s young generation.
(Contributed by: Deepak Razdan and Asha Ramachandran)