Saturday, 3 February 2018

Have you ever considered attending a Village Fair?

Have you ever considered attending a Village Fair
Village fairs are often too dull, dusty and daunting for most of the urban folks. Village fairs tend to get overwhelming with their loud music, pungent perfumes, obnoxious body odours and rampant crowd. Modern day carnival rides are distant dreams. You might at best find few manual rides like a screeching merry-go-round, or a rickety Ferris wheel. Even if you are flexible with the lack of food hygiene, there's a fair chance that you'll still fail to cope up with the excess oil and sugar used in preparing the eatables sold in such fair grounds. 

Wait, we have a slightly serious issue to address at first. Unlike my previous blog posts this article won't be lengthy, because a couple of fellow bloggers have complained against my unrestricted word counts. The feedback is: If you want to be read, write it short. Oops, too deep to disregard! Truth is, I lack the gene for concise and crispy writing. Dragging the introduction beyond convention and struggling to draw the conclusion have been my weaknesses since the very beginning.

Have you ever considered attending a Village Fair
Travelling, clicking and writing makes me happy. But, if I have to modify my ways so as to make my writings saleable, I'm pretty sure I'll run out of the bliss which journal writing endows me with. It's a pity when passion turns into obligation. So, I don't see myself abiding by the textbook of successful blogging in any near future. Moreover, I am positive that there's still audience for my unprofessionally woven words. When you scribble uninhibited from your heart, the sediment of your words always holds utility for the reader, and eventually a connection of faith develops between the two. 

Yes, I prefer a small handful of such readers over ten thousand click bait visitors any given day. On the other hand, when you are investing time on blogging  apart from your pursuit of happiness, the storyteller inside you definitely desires to reach out to a maximum number of ears. Till I conceive an unbiased solution to this dilemma I'll try to stick to photo essays and review articles.

Have you ever considered attending a Village Fair
Well, pardon me for shooting 252 extra words which have nothing to do with attending a village fair. Village fairs are still very common in various parts of our country and popular among the rural population. Today's discussion is on whether you have ever considered visiting a village fair. If you haven't, the inevitable question is, should you? Based on how I have portrayed a typical village fair in the prologue, no sensible soul would consider experiencing an Indian countryside carnival. Let me tell you, almost every year I attend one of those fairs. Any idea why? 

Those fair grounds acquaint me with genuine human expressions which I do not find in any urban gathering. I get to capture explicit differences among happy, peaceful, excited, wannabe, ambitious, desperate, innocent, dutiful, lonely, jealous, impatient, anxious, malicious, broken and hundred other states of human mind. There majority of the entertainment seekers flock unmasked which would definitely reinforce your belief on the saying- Face is the mirror of heart.

Have you ever considered attending a Village Fair
In India village fairs are generally held on the occasion of some religious festivals. These candid photographs were captured last month in a riverside fair held at outskirt of my hometown on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti. Unlike most other Hindu festivals, Makar Sankranti is observed according to the solar cycle of the lunisolar Hindu calendar which secures its fixed spot on 14th January of the Gregorian calendar. Although Makar Sankranti is celebrated in different parts of our country in diverse ways, this harvest festival marks the beginning of spring in the subcontinent. 

People expresses their gratitude to the divine power of nature for its good produce during the winter harvest. The revered deity varies with the region. We Bengalis add colours to our Makar Sankranti (popular as "Poush Parbon") by worshipping Goddess Lakshmi, savouring 'Pitha' (the traditional Bengali rice cake prepared from rice flour, date palm jaggery, coconut and milk) and participating in daylong crazy kite flying spree.

Have you ever considered attending a Village Fair
It was late afternoon when I could make it to the Makar Sankranti fair ground by the bank of river Damodar. Contrary to urban fairs, in a village fair crowd thickens post midday, plateaus by late afternoon and thins out gradually by the sunset. Having arrived at its peak hours I was enjoying every flake of its rustic smell. Apart from quenching your visual thirst with unadulterated human expressions you can witness a lot more stuffs, provided you arrive there with an open mind. 

Of late in cities, even children are too hesitant to express their feelings and they're taught to maintain a neutral expression out of home. Their parents probably consider it uncool to exhibit uncontrolled childish behaviour in the outside world. Who knows it might invite an alien invasion! Thankfully, larger part of the rural mass who visit these primitive fairs with their kids are too unsophisticated to think in the former line. At least, once in a blue moon I get to see how kids are supposed to behave, and also at the same time how parents are supposed to play their roles.

Have you ever considered attending a Village Fair
It gives me some sense of relief to find that kids can still act like kids and parents can still say 'No' to their kids when the situation calls for it. Sadly, parenting has got synonymous to pampering. It has become customary for modern day parents not to deny their children with materialistic rewards. As soon as the kid cries for it he gets it. His parents are too reluctant to improvise with a 'No'. After all, it is much less painstaking to buy him an item than wasting their energy in explaining why he doesn't need that. 

I know I'm sounding judgemental. I'm least bothered how you choose to parent. But then, who'll acquaint that kid with the harsh reality surrounding him? How are you helping him with his rational development for coming days? Tell me something, how often do you encounter kids dancing with joy after receiving gifts? You won't find many. Unless a child is taught the concept of earning instead of getting, the poor thing shall never discover the pleasures of joy, surprise and achievement. Yes, head to a village fair to experience what I just told. I watch it every time I go.

Have you ever considered attending a Village Fair
Previously village fairs were indispensable to the rural lives, both socially as well as financially. In this Jio-age (consider it as my heartfelt appreciation to Mukesh Ambani for kicking balls of telecom mafias like Vodafone, Airtel etc who had been looting Indian consumers since last two decades), the rural population doesn't have to look forward to any annual fair for catching up with their distant buddies, buying household necessities, or even selling off their handmade goods. Its role has shrunk to merely an epicentre for entertainment. 

Being an educated city brat you might find a village fair far from entertaining. But remember, there are two-third Indians till date who enthusiastically walk for miles, cycle through reckless traffic or charter tractors to take their loved ones to such unsung fiesta. I leave it to your discretion whether you should get your boots dirty or give it a miss. I haven't decided on my next topic as yet. Allow me to put on my thinking helmet. I'll see you soon.


  1. I have never been to a village fair. But would definitely like a chance to go to one even after reading your prologue. Fairs in cities have been few and for entertainment from a long time. Now with the mobiles connecting villagers, village fairs are also inching towards the same fate.

  2. Thank you so much for writing this! Really made my challenge my perspective- in London it's too easy to not have a community at all so this is a heartwarming read.

  3. I do think that village fair are important for camaraderie and discovery of other cultures.

  4. I've been to a number of village fairs. The colours, aroma, commodities, culture--everything seems to be a different and intriguing one. I've seen cherubic faces receiving a mere wooden bird. Loved the pictures and the write-up.

    Long posts Vs short posts; the eternal debate. I think we should write according to our will. That's why we started blogging, to write our hearts out... :-)

    1. Exactly Mani.
      Thanks for reading the blog :-)

  5. Great article, Thanks for your great information, the content is quiet interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.


I really appreciate your efforts in exploring my poetry of roads. Thank You!