Though speculation about the Chandigarh Rose Festival losing its charm has been rife, HT City on Friday spotted blacks and whites of both sides of the story. Organised by UT administration, this fest has been a crowd puller for the past 40 years now. While we saw some visiting for the love of nature, others were here to bask in the rosy glory. And then there were those — spotted holding hands — strolling around (almost floating) in love.
The three-day 41st Chandigarh Rose Festival opened up at the Rose Garden, Sector 16, on Friday among a variety of crowd, and was inaugurated by KK Sharma (IAS), advisor to administrator, UT, Chandigarh.
As is the norm every year, competitions such as brass and pipe band, floral and floral hat-making, Mr and Ms Rose and folk dance competitions were organised this year as well.
Stealing the limelight was Chandigarh-based Malhotra family — Simmi, 44, Aastha, 14, and Ankit, 15 — as they managed to bag 10 prizes in flower arrangement categories. “We have been been participating in the Rose Festival for the past seven years. My children and I don’t have any professional qualification in the field; it’s just the love for nature that draws us to this festival every year, despite the kids being under immense exam pressure at this time of the year,” says the proud mother, Simmi Malhotra.
While the sun, playing hide and seek from behind the clouds, set the mood right, we spotted SAS Nagar-based newlywed couple Sukhjeet and Sonia Singh hand-in-hand. “I have been visiting the fest for the past six years now. This time, I found a dearth of food stalls at the fest.
In essence of the fest, no one here is eager to learn about roses; everyone’s here for a leisurely stroll and beautiful pictures. This festival can prove to be a knowledge bank, if only it is looked at in such a light,” says Sukhjeet.
While the Chandigarh Police did justice to its duty of maintaining law and order, we also spotted a young cop utilising his duty to the fullest — feasting his eyes on Pink Perfect, Ice Berg and Glory Day with his new bride.
Another interesting sight was spotted sitting prepped on the head of 26-year-old physiotherapist Sandeep Kaur. The beautiful floral hat, says she, took about four hours in the making.
There is, however, something she’d like to change about the fest. “Instead of the stereotypical cultural programmes, if the administration could somehow introduce jazz and rock performances, it would pull a lot of young crowd,” says she.