It started in childhood and continues. ‘Mela’ or a fair, brings with it thousands of memories which until remembered, I never realized I still have.
Almost all the festivities in Agartala had a small or a big ‘mela’ associated. Those were what made rituals festivals! Be it Durga Puja or Maha Shiv raatri or Kharchi Puja, as kids ‘mela’ was the main attraction for us. It was not simply buying things at the ‘mela’. With limited money given to us kids and with a heart full of wishes to buy the entire ‘mela’, it used to be a real affair as to decide on the best buys. As kids, most of our important discussions were around what to wear and buy in the ‘mela’. It used to make us feel all so grown up.
Each earthen idol of Gods & Goddesses bought, made us feel as if we are now closer to them. Every idol of great men made us feel to have met him/her personally. Every set of earthen kitchen set for kids made us feel as if we can now make a home of our own and cook like mothers. Every helicopter fans when flown successfully, made us feel as if we are now the pilots of the world. Such simple were the minds and things that brought happiness to us.
‘Mela’s were no place for competition, only sharing. They were places of innocent giggles & laughter, walking and running around idly, jumping at almost anything new which caught our eyes, and if we had left over money then having hot jalebis in some or the other stalls.
Dreams, imagination, aims in life all ran freely and unhindered in ‘mela’s. We were anything, we wanted to be. Those used to be the places which seemed peaceful even with hundreds of people in it. There used to be a peace in the chaos around. There was happiness without money. There was childhood around, there was another world around…