WARMING UP the winter, visitors slowly and steadily filled Leisure Valley, venue of the annual Chandigarh carnival, which was replete with the many colours, sights and sounds of its theme, ‘Fantasy’.
As the Carnival parade was flagged off by Parimal Rai on Friday morning, it was a moment of pride for the students of the Government College of Arts. The floats they had created over the last few weeks received both appreciation and applause from the onlookers. Designed and conceptualised to involve people of different age groups, the carnival has a space for art, music, folk dances, theatre, literature, and fun activities for children.
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SK Sharma, a magician from Ambala, here on the invitation of the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi, pulled out one trick after another, involving the people in his magic. “I simply loved his card tricks and way he builds up the act,” said Aneesha Sood, a graphics designer.
The Akademi has also arranged for an orchestra, and is encouraging people to take centre-stage and be part of its ‘Aao Aur Gao’ [Come and Sing] programme. It has invited folk singers Mehar Singh Mastana and Company to present some specials and also interact with music lovers. “It’s unlimited entertainment here,” said a member of the Akademi.
The tattoo art shops by the students of the College of Art had youngsters try new designs. According to one student, Yashika, who was creating a butterfly design, business has been good since lunch. “We have priced a tattoo for Rs 50, and though we were a bit apprehensive about the demonetisation effect, it really doesn’t seem to have affected our sales and spirits,” said the young woman.
It was a sentiment shared by the ‘riders’ of the floats. Sahil, one of the riders, beamed on his Mickey float, calling out to the younger ones to take a round of the carnival. “Friday is usually a slow start, but we are geared up for a fantastic weekend, and so far, we don’t see any cash crunch, as our rides cost just Rs 50,” he added.
S Wahil, here from Srinagar, who has set up the Kashmir Arts and Crafts stall, is hoping that the weekend will see a better inflow of visitors, as well as sales. “We hope people don’t stay away because of lack of cash, though there are debit card swipe facilities here at the carnival,” he said. Sohni, a young designer, has created a range of eclectic jewellery with paper: “Just with some twists and turns I have made earrings, pendants, bracelets et al, and I hope the carnival gives us a platform to showcase our talent. The jewellery is not priced high, so I hope the sales are good.”
Literature lovers can look forward to interesting options at the British Library and State Library enclosures. The carnival also has a vintage car display at the Museum and Art Gallery, with the owners happy to talk about them. Foodies can enjoy some winter delicacies at the CITCO Food Court here. “We have swipe card machines at all food counters for the facility of the public,” said the manager.
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