Pen ka Mela!

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One of my cherished childhood memory is being giddy with excitement, tummy taking a tumble, as I came back close to earth on a Ferris-wheell!  The rocking of the gigantic boat in a pendulum like motion (the Columbus or the titanic)! Or the sheer daredevilry of the bikers in the (de)famed “maut ka kua” or the colorful carousel that just kept going on and on and on!

Everyone as a kid loves the funfair, the local ‘mela’, the joy, the goodies, the color and what not! For a quaint town of Pen, where 15 years back everyone knew everyone, this just meant seeing every single friend again after school time! This annual event has always been  arranged by Rotary club of Pen,  takes place at municipality ground (though this time it was shifted, slightly), had awesome food and has been warm, welcoming and like home!

Here is a quick look at the 2016’s fun-(a)fair.

The entrance was manned by this artist who sold hand crafted miniature ships. Step in any big oak-y workshop dealing in wooden craft and the price will always be in thousands.  Here it is few hundreds and your bargaining skills. Life is simple in our city.

(Note: Apologies for the beady and blurry pics, but gotta work with what I got! )

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We paid a nominal sum and crossed into the jing-bang world of colors. With the snake-like structure lined by shops on both ends, we met friends and indulged in hey-i-really-don’t-need-it-but… shopping.

Funfairs are known for their uniqueness, their indigenous creativity. So let me list some of the things that caught my eyes:

  • The kullad zone. With the kullad cups catching everyone’s eye the original matti k kullad made a splash here. With pots, pans and tea-cups, they had everything. Pandering to the traditional roots of the public, they scored!
  • The seat supports. From the office-goers to the business owners, those who are chained to the chair, this one is a coveted item. Even though, in my opinion, they don’t help much, people like to indulge!
  • The fix-it stick! Heat up the stick up on the stove and touch the molten end to your broken stuff; this is like super glue. It worked on water tanks with big crack, broken heels and everything in between. The presentation was really cool.
  • The one-masala-for-everything. The Universal tastemaker which can zing up everything. This was a loved place to pop a little something in your mouth, like a pre-appetizer. They hand out samples for you to fall in love with it. It’s a solid old trick.
  • Apart from this, you have everything a household can want. From bottle openers to bottle cleaners to water purifiers. Covers for fridge/TV/Oven, trinkets for home and Jeweler!

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  • I didn’t forget the Mukhwas section, no sir! The Mouthfreshner zone is amazing. The sheer quantity makes you want to drool.
  • And coming to the food zone, there is Chat, Snacks, Lunch, Maharashtrian food, Khichiya-papad, Jain-version-of-everything, PaniPuri, Gola, Ice-cream and cotton candy. Everything that should be there is there!
  • I didn’t get a chance to check out the rides but they looked smash!

If you haven’t been to the 2016 one, don’t worry. Just close your eyes and go back in time. The feel the music and chaos is all the same. It’s among the few constants of the town, the clichéd drapes, the shows, the dance contests, the fashion shows. It tugs at your heart because it has memories of childhood wrapped in every layer.  Credits to Rotary Club that has kept it going!

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Allow me to go deep here. It’s not a treat just for the kids, it’s for everyone.  The attractions just change a bit. During school days, eyes looked for the fun-zone, or the cotton candy. Now, well into my twenties, I look for familiar faces, the chance encounter with long lost friends and the instant connect like no-time-lost. It’s like muscle memory, or riding a bike. You get the rhythm back in no time. The laughs here are always easy; the feeding-food-because-I-saw-you-and-I-am-eating is still a tradition and even if it’s little rusty, the bond with my city is still alive and kicking!

4 thoughts on “Pen ka Mela!

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