A VILLAGE FAIR
Every year, in the first week of May, soon after Holi, a big fair is held near our village. It is held in memory of a Hindu saint, who worked hard for the upliftment of the nearby villages. His Samadhi is just outside our village at a distance of about half a mile.
The preparation for the fair began a week or two earlier, under the guidance of Village Panchayat members. The whole place was swept clean and shrubs and bushes were removed. A temporary bazaar was set up and stalls were allotted to traders who displayed their wares for sale. These wares include items of public interest. On the appointed day villagers from far and near, flocked to the place to the fair called “Sadhu Mela”.
There was much dancing and merry making. Drums were beaten and rustic songs were sung. People passed singly or in groups through the bazaar and enjoyed themselves. There were huge crowds in front of the toys shop and confectioner’s shop. At some places acrobats and rope dancers were showing their feats. At another place merry go-rounds were crowded with boys and girls, men and women. The jugglers and snake charmers also had a busy time. The snake charmer played on his flute pipe which was giving a melodious tune. Before his flute were dancing serpents. They seemed to be completely hypnotized by the sweet sound of the flute. Every bit of the fair has its own charm.
Village games like kabaddi, tug of war and wrestling were specially arranged. In wrestling, renowned wrestlers from the adjoining villages participated. It was interesting to see the tugging, pushing and grappling with each other. The winner was awarded with a prize of one thousand rupees. The most interesting event of the fair was the oxen race through a flooded rice field. The winner was awarded as brass shield and a cash prize of two thousand rupees. This year, it was won by our “Mahesh”.
In the evening the fair came to an end people were seen hurrying back to their homes with arms of full toys and sweets. Many people who had come to buy or sell cattle were joyful either reins of good breed of cattle with them or the bags full of money. This fair which is held every year reminds people with the happy memories of the saint. It also brings the people of the far-off villages together to foster harmony and unity among the villagers.