Bhopal Mela

Yesterday we had all gone to the annual Bhopal Mela. For the uninitiated, a Mela, is a carnival and every year around this time the local administration allocates a large ground to vendors and hawkers for a month. The fair has plenty of rides and toys for the kids, tones of shops selling everything from pickles to sewing machines for women and all the latest gadgets and electronic marvels for men. Ok, I am being stereotypical here, there are plenty of women who gawk at the latest DVD players with HD and USB DivX support, and I did check out the pickle shops myself so I guess each to his or her own, whatever you prefer. Its all there.

Most of the stuff is discounted from the listed retail price since I believe the government reduces some of the taxes on the products at the fair for promotion so there is plenty of savings here. And the range of products is pretty good as well. Then there are the food stalls. Nearly all the major restaurateurs of Bhopal have an outlet present there and so do many who have come to Bhopal from as far away as Kolkata for this event. One lady selling wooden handicraft articles has come all the way from Chennai. My goodness, seems like word really gets around. And there seem to be plenty of takers.

bhopalmelaThere is plenty of things for the kids to do. From street shows to giant Ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds, all in a centrally accessible place. The rates for the rides seem reasonable for the amount of time children get to enjoy each of them. Both my daughters were ready to collapse at the end of the day from exhaustion. Good clean fun.

Furniture, home appliances, decorative items, automobiles, electronics, alternate energy devices… you name it, chances are there is a stall for it at the fair. Did I mention food? From snack to full courses, from Chinese to Continental, everything is there and usually tens of different vendors for each. Even junk food or I should say, especially junk food. But I guess once in a while its ok since bad as it may be for the body, it sure tastes divine.

In all probability we will be going back to it once again before things wrap up. Even though we spent most of the day there, we didn’t finish browsing the whole thing. Plenty of areas we didn’t see because of lack of time. My youngest daughter has already started harassing me to take her back there again. Its surprising since she was the first one who got dizzy from the rides and wanted to come back home before everyone else. I guess she recovered before everyone else as well.

We usually make it a point to visit the fair at least twice each year. Once to scout the place and then once again to buy some of the things. And now its becoming a familiar event. Usually the vendors who set up shops there prefer the same location every time. Its easy on the organizers as well since they can more easily make sections for the type of products or services. All the furniture vendors are in one area and all the home appliances in one area. Keeps it tidy and makes it easier to compare products and prices without having to walk to the end of the fair.

If you are living in Bhopal, I would definitely recommend it before it closes. Its worth it and who knows perhaps we’ll run into each other there and share a cuppa.

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