Yesterday, I went to the "Rath'er Mela" (can we call that Chariot Fair?) after quite a few years... I remember going there last when I worked in Ibiza and the fair used to stretch from the Rashbehari 4-point to the start of the Chetla Bridge.
Now the fair runs underneath the bridge cutting the area below the bridge at right angles. The volume of the fair has shrunk a bit -- with lesser number of plant nurseries and no bird/guinea pig sellers at all.
But I loved it! I had my favourite companion with me, i.e. myself .. there was nobody to hurry or push, judge or comment.
I bought tea sets and other toys for Bhojai (my dear niece) and the other kids who are going to come down for the Aug wedding. I got the red horns that we have been planning to buy--- they were much much cheaper than what they cost in Gariahat or Part St! Beware SM & MS, we are ready with the pranks!! :D
Pickles, ajwain goli, boRi and sago papad are always on my list when I visit the Mela.. so down they went into my big shopper. I got hold of essentials like hair clips, hair bands, safety pins and combs. Beautiful flower-designed teacups caught my fancy and I got a pair -- I have had my morning tea in one of those (the more beautiful one) and the empty cup still sits beside my monitor as I write this post.
The Krishnanagar clay replicas of vegetables and fruits were irresistible .. got a few of them (and a small hanuman).. I might gift a few to the kids and keep a few for myself :P
I got a few sticks of golden and silver imitation flower buds, a set of bangles for Bhojai and a cute red fan.
Seven o'clock and Nine o'clock saplings were my last purchase.
The evening was my gift to myself -- I loved the expression on the little boy's face whom I bought a candy. While writing this post, I am suddenly reminded of Tagore's poem --- the entire spirit of Rath'er Mela gets ruined if a child who is the soul of the fair does not get his share of happiness.