Essay on A Visit to a Fair:
Fairs and festivals are very common in India. Some of them are held to mark the change of season, some are celebrated in memory of a saint or a god while others are held to popularise trade and industry.
The fair that I attended last week was held in honour of the goddess Kali. It was celebrated in the temple of Kali just outside our city. Two of my friends, Ram and Krishna, also went there along with me. We hired a tonga. All along there was a great rush of traffic. We reached the place in an hour.
Thousands of citizens had already gathered near the temple of the goddess. Villagers, too, had flocked to the place from far and near. All of them were in their gala dresses and looked gay. Some villagers played upon flutes and sang rustic songs. Some danced to the tune of a flute and a drum.
Outside the temple, there was set up a temporary bazaar. The booths and shops were tastefully decorated. They were doing good business. People were making all sorts of purchases. The children were busy buying toys, dolls and balloons. Sweet shops, in particular, attracted most of the customers.
The crowd was very thick near the gate of the temple. There sat two or three flower-sellers. Flowers were offered to the goddess, Kali.
We brought some flowers and sweets and went into the temple. On either side of the path there sat a large number of sadhus and beggars singing holy songs. A priest took us before the goddess. We offered flowers, sweets and some money to her. She appeared to smile at us. We thought she had blessed us. The priest put sandal marks on our foreheads and gave us some flowers and sweets as a gift from the goddess.
After a few minutes more we came out into the open. On one side a juggler performed his tricks. On the other side, a rope dancer showed his feats. Here was a snake-charmer keeping the spectator’s spell-bound. There was a fortune-teller attracting a lot of people.
Farther on there was a merry-go-round. It was going around with a creaking sound. The young and the old were enjoying a ride on it.
The Sewak Samaj people did a great service. They stood at different places. Some directed the traffic and controlled the crowd. Some gave water to the thirsty and food to the hungry. Some resorted to the last children and showed the way to old, blind men. Others kept a watchful eye on the bad characters and warned the people against cheats and pickpockets.
At about sunset, the fair showed signs of breaking up. We made some purchases for our young brothers and sisters and returned home quite tired.