Sitting in an old grocery shop on the Hazratganj stretch, Hasan Abbas was busy observing the preparations for the Ganjing carnival on Sunday evening.
He said the preparations reminded him of the past when an ‘older version’ of the carnival used to be the in-thing in the city of nawabs. “This carnival is reminiscent of similar events in the 1990s when all used to take part,” said Abbas.
But the ‘carnival’ in the past used to be different. “It started during Christmas and was purely based on the pattern of Goa carnival,” said Abbas, going down the memory lane.
Gope Tekwani, another shop owner in Ganj, recollected memories of the past. “It used to be week-long fun. Instead of DJ systems, there used to be cassette players playing old songs. But today’s carnival is entirely different,” he said. Besides, in the older version of the carnival, camel rides, puppet shows and shehnai performances used to be the main attractions.
However, the locals were convinced with the new version of the carnival, saying: “Whatever the style of celebration it may be, the purpose of both the carnivals is same - to sensitise people towards the city’s heritage, especially the Hazratganj stretch that is Lucknow’s pride,” another local said.
A few locals also said that on the day of carnival, it seemed that they were sitting in a time machine that took them into the past.
(With inputs from Jibran Khan)