Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Trade Fair

The Trade Fair is in town. It's located at the Island Grounds and the official timings are 11 am to 10 pm. When I got there at 11 am not only was the place deserted but it wasn't even open. The ticket booths were not manned and the previous evening's debris was strewn about. It was also baking hot!

 Thankfully this guy spotted the sketching gear which several of us had peeping out of our bags and he came up and said sketch me! Five minutes later the ticketing line opened and in we went.

The main walkway was a sandy path with stalls on either side. First up was a shop selling plastic inflatable balls (and ducks and rabbits) of all colours and sizes. Further on were shops selling just about anything - clothes, hats, underwear, vessels - a completely random selection.

After walking past a few shops I spotted a sugarcane juice stall. Also deserted. I guess the vendors didn't expect anyone to turn up so early - at opening time. But the machine brought back so many memories for me of Ganne ka Ras on the pavements of Ahmedabad as a college student, sitting on low Modas and sipping the juice which was more slushy and icey than actual juice. And further memories of the morning after... which I won't elaborate on here.

After walking for a while down this sandy lane the shops eventually gave way to rides. Hideous odd shaped fibreglass chair-cars resembling helicopters, teacups, fishes, cartoon characters and what-nots in garish colours. Some would move round on tracks while others swung up and down. You get the picture.

And finally at the very end - the giant (or Gaint as they decided to call it) ferris wheels. There were two. These could be seen from the main road as you circle around Napier Bridge and drive to the entrance of the fair. This is what glows with lights in the night, dominating the marina skyline, attracts all the kiddies at the beach to drag their folks over the next day. And it was quite a site, to sit under it and look up.

1 comment:

  1. The Trade Fair at the Island Grounds has been an annual feature since the 1970's. I visited it a few times in the early years because I was obliged to and then made it a point to stay away. I found almost every aspect of it more than I could handle, butmost of all it was the awful stink coming out of the Cooum. But, looking at your sketches, I feel a strong urge to visit the place once more. While they are all very nice, I am absolutely captivated by your last sketch of the ferris wheel.