Thursday, 15 October 2015

Anandabazar, The Unseen Shantiniketan

Soham Mitra Shantiniketan: Anandabazar is one of the lesser known traditional fairs in Shantiniketan. It reflects the heritage of this beautiful place and inspirations of Tagore. It also promotes indigenous art and culture. This year too the Anadabazar fair started with the sound of ‘Dhak’ at the Gour Prangon of Visva Bharati University campus on the day of Mahalaya (12 October).  

Students had set up temporary stalls at the fair site with iron frames, bamboo and wood etc. They decorated their stalls with colourful clothes and crafts. By the afternoon, the stalls were ready with attractive names and amateur sellers. The gross profit earned in the fair is donated to help the nearby tribal communities and for betterment of child education. 

Preparations of the fair at Gour Prangon 

Students from Patha Bhavana, Siksha Satra and other departments of the University took part in the fair. They sold a variety of items like paintings, self-driven journals and newspapers, local foods, clay crafts, bamboo, wooden and paper crafts, masks, and many more. The catchy and creative names of the stalls were the other magnets. ‘Khaaibar Paas, ‘Bonoful’, ‘Agomoni’, ‘Aahare Baahare’ were some of those.  ‘Kobikon’ (poet’s corner) was another place of attraction where people ordered a poem on their desired topic and got it delivered within half an hour. The trade cry of the young vendors made the ‘mela’ alive. In every ‘galli’, you’ll be chased by them. To secure the highest sell, a pretty interesting cold war always goes on among vendors and that results in variation of price. ‘Patha Bhavana Sammilani’ and ‘Siksha Satra Sammilani’ were the tycoons of this year’s fair.

Subir, a sixth grade student of Siksha Satra, shared his experience with us- “I like to participate in Anandabazar every year. From the morning, we had enjoyed a lot and now I’m selling ‘fuchka’ like uncles do everyday”. 

More than just a fair, Anandabazar is an opportunity to smell the life from its grassroots. Students prepare themselves throughout the year for this particular fair which gives them a chance to contribute to lives of their co-citizens. 


____________________
The writer is a freelance contributor. Comments personal
Image courtesy: writer