Melas! Oh, not any more | india | Hindustan Times
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Melas! Oh, not any more

IN THREE months, the city saw eight melas and that?s enough for them as far as shopping budgets are concerned. Now they go there, do formal window-shopping, hog food stalls and get back home. ?Melas? Not anymore! Give us some time. Middle-class melas budgets are not metro-size. So definitely we would like some respite,? says Ravi Singhania, a mela-goer.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2006 01:08 IST

IN THREE months, the city saw eight melas and that’s enough for them as far as shopping budgets are concerned.

Now they go there, do formal window-shopping, hog food stalls and get back home. “Melas? Not anymore! Give us some time. Middle-class melas budgets are not metro-size. So definitely we would like some respite,” says Ravi Singhania, a mela-goer.

It all began with Saras Mahotsav and at present there are two expos going on simultaneously, Shilp Mela and Crafts Bazaar. However, the craftsmen and artisans are not happy with the response that they are getting. “The sale is not good at all. During the seven days we have done minimal business. People come and see the stuff but don’t buy anything,” says Shadab, from Chanderi, MP, selling chanderi saris and suits.

The Shilp Mela is not even pulling too much crowd despite being centrally located. “I have put up stalls in Lucknow thrice but this time the response is very bad. The mela has not even pulled much crowd this time,” says Jai Gautam from Gorakhpur. Last time he had put up a stall in Lucknow Mahotsav and says, “The sales were reasonable and I had made good profit.”

The irony of Shilp Mela is that all the artisans and craftsmen are national award recipients and have been specially called for this mela. Vidya Devi is from Bihar and has put up a stall of Madhubani paintings. She has put up a stall in Lucknow for the first time. However she is not happy about coming to Lucknow and putting up a stall. She says, “Lucknow is too far and I am old. I had come only because I thought that the sales would be good. But in so many days I have barely sold any paintings. People come and appreciate my work but don’t buy it.”

Chandeesh Soni from MP is selling brass handicraft items. He says, “I have stuff ranging right from Rs.100 to Rs.35, 000 but people are not buying anything. They don’t even come to the stall to look at the stuff.”

Barring a few all the artisans and craftsmen have similar complaints.Some of them have even decided not to come to Lucknow in future to put up stalls. All craftsmen at the Crafts Bazaar are from Jammu & Kashmir and most of them say that they do much better business in Jammu & Kashmir. “Winters are the only time that we do some business and we want to do good business in this season. Coming to Lucknow we only wasted our time,” says Ahmed, selling Kashmiri shawls in Crafts Bazaar.

Nevertheless a few artisans who are new for Lucknow are doing some business. Like for instance Radhika, from Kutch is selling ethnic Gujarati handicrafts and her business if flowing reasonably fine. “I manage to sell substantial amount of stuff in a day,” says Radhika.

However one section that is doing very well are the food stalls. People are flocking in large numbers to relish the tasty regional food items that is available at Shilp Mela. There are stalls selling Rajasthani, Gujarati, Bihari, Punjabi and Chinese food. There are two other stalls are selling milk items and chaat. The food stall owners are happy with the response and the afternoons are usually very busy for them.