The first ever winter festival in Kashmir provided some warmth to people in Srinagar, braving harshest spell of winter, on Wednesday evening.
Artists took potshots at the state government for poor electricity and bad governance attracting laughter and cheers from the audience.
The festival 'Funtoosh: Jashn-e-Chilai Kalan', which was postponed on January 7 due to electricity breakdown and low road connectivity, was held on Wednesday evening.
"The idea behind the festival was to shun the notion that Kashmiris turn lazy during winters. We wanted to prove that we can brave chill and work as usual," sais Sibath Qureshi, one of the four young organisers of the event. Qureshi, a media student, has returned from Mumbai to revive events and entertainment in the valley.
The one-day festival featured a muscial performance by physically challenged kids, a ramp walk by young Kashmiri boys and girls wearing traditional clothes donned by Muslims and Pandits in the past. The show also featured local muscial instruments with artists playing Chakir and Band Pather, local musical an fold theatre.
This is first time that people were provided a platform to celebrate Chilai Kalan, harshest 40-day spell starting December in the valley.
"We want to preserve our culture and tradition through the show," said Abrar Ali, another organiser.
The highlight of the festival was Rayeed Mohiuddin, a stand up comedian, who took potshots at governance in front of state agriculture minister Hassan Mir, chief guest on the occasion.
"I can see anger among young people against politicians and bureaucracy. I admit Kashmir faces unemployment, corruption and prise rise. There are flaws in our system but we need to fight it out together...but the event provided much needed warmth to people," said Mir.
The festival, which was promoted by a mobile mascot making rounds of the city for months together, has revived a hope of providing entertainment in a state where cinema and entertainment shows are not available.
"We intend to bring some smile on the faces of people," said Shehla Arif, a young valley artists and co-organiser of the event.