Thursday, February 5, 2009


As kids, it was an outing that we looked forward to with a mixture of excitement and horror. The trade fair (The All India Tourism and Trade Fair) was the place where one could gorge on panjumuttai without the grown-ups pouring cold water all over it, where their barriers to buying bubble blowers or camphor-fired boats were waiting to be smashed down, where one could walk around aimlessly for a few hours watching all the glories of 'India is my country'. That was the excitement part of it.

The horror came in several forms; the dread of being separated from the group and becoming an easy target for one-eyed kidnappers - well, that's how all the movies showed them, whenever the kid was to be napped from a fairground: the revulsion on seeing pictures of careless jaywalkers smashed to pulp on the posters urging everyone to use pedestrian crossings: the pickled embryos of chicken, sheep and such other beasts that the Animal Husbandry department threatened us with, year after year.

Things haven't changed too much, but the fair has become an 'Industrial Fair' and is more gaudy than it used to be. There is no horror now, however, for it is all 'fun' and 'joy' all around. A few embryos are still floating, but are 'presented scientifically'. The cotton candy still wisps in the breeze; but the breeze brings the real-world stench of the Cooum and the Buckingham Canal - they can't do much about that traumatic reality!


workhard said...

Interesting post.. its peculiar you thought of kidnappers

BPO work from home

Kris McCracken said...

I do like that story.

LVISS said...

Age no bar for getting lost in the crowd.

Anonymous said...

Porutkaatchi Paarthacha?

Shantaram said...

@ Workhard: But that imagery works even today... the Airtel ad with Shreyas Talpade :o

@ Kris: Thanks - and good to see you again! Hope you've been keeping busy!!

@ Ravindran: Second childhood types? :)

@ Ram: Paarthachu! Actually went very early on, many stalls were still being set up, so they let us enter free ;)