Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Monday, December 31, 2012

January is for Jaipur

At the Apna Gaon Rajasthani Mela at Nicco Park, Salt Lake (Kolkata)

Last weekend I loosened up somewhat keeping in mind my hectic travel schedule in January 2013. I shall be flying in and out of Kolkata, spending most of my time in Jaipur.
In recent years January means being in Jaipur. Not only the much talked about Jaipur Literature Festival is held in Jaipur in January but also many other events like the Jaipur International Film Festival, Jaipur Heritage Festival and Jaipur Polo season and add to this an excellent weather.
On Saturday evening I inaugurated the Apna Gaon Rajasthani Melaa village fair at the Nicco Park in Salt Lake. Apna Gaon is a village theme mela which has folk musicians, dancers and performers from Rajasthan and Haryana.
This is the 9th year of the Mela that held annually on the last seven days of the year.
This festival provides the right kind of family entertainment and has something for the people of all ages. When it started nine years back no one thought it would take such a big shape. Over the past four years, besides Rajasthani artists, the folk artists from Haryana have also been added.
It was amazing to see camel rides, bullock carts and other traditional village items. Every year they also have a replica of a famous temple in Rajasthan. 
This year it was Baba Ramdev’s temple. What has been a real hit over the past nine years is the traditional Rajasthani cuisine served at the mela in traditional Rajasthani style. 
The food court is named Chokidhani. People who have travelled to Jaipur know about chokidhani. It is an activity centre for all kinds of folk art, dance, music and food.
On Saturday evening, after inaugurating the Mela, there was a performance by Ila Arun. I must congratulate the main organizer Lok Sanskriti for organising this seven-day extravaganza full of family entertainment. In an era of western dance and music, a traditional cultural event has held its own.
ess bee

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