There’s nothing quite like Indian festivals to dispel the doom and gloom. From now till Diwali,it will be a riot (sic) of music and masti,feasting and fasting,gifting and getting,flush (cards,not toilets) and flash,praying and partying. The place where it all comes together is the traditional mela with its stalls,games,entertainment and fireworks. Here’s what to look forward to at this years fair.
The Samosa Stall: This years version has been renamed the Lalu Special. Dumped in boiling oil,the samosas are moved from the frying pan to the fire and served on a newspaper with his famous comment: Jab tak rahega samosa mein aloo,tab tak rahega Bihar main Lalu. The courts may have knocked the stuffing out of him politically and demolished any pretences of politicians being sacred cows,but he still has the consolation of having the time to make hay while the son shines.
The Roller Coaster Ride: Designed by the prominent firm of RG & Co,this high speed ride,called The Congress Corkscrew,takes everyone through scary twists and turns,so that those on top suddenly find themselves at the bottom,or suspended mid-air,thanks to sudden direction changes and backtracking. Its a ride full of thrills and spills,mostly the latter,thanks to the design firms efforts at re-engineering the existing apparatus,including the driving seat.
The Teen Patti Table:This is where games of chance are played with an element of risk. This years version is also known as the Telengana Tangle,and is based on the heads you lose,tails you win theory. This means that you gamble on losing a few heads and hope that you gain the tails,a.k.a,voters,when the finals are played. This high-stakes game requires nerves of steel,a good sense of timing and a sizeable kitty to cover setbacks when your bluff is called.
Merry Go Round: Always a popular attraction,this year it has been given a new spin. Painted in saffron and stamped with the lotus symbol,it revolves faster and faster so that all the faces become a blur,reduced equally in status thanks to the Power of One. Accompanied by plenty of special effects and donning of NaMo masks,the ride can be heady and stomach-churning,so ensure theres a toilet nearby.
Hit The Wicket: The latest version is called the Srini Special,after its creator,and the game is all about Being in Control of Cricket in India (BCCI). It bears a strong resemblance to musical chairs,with the aim being to cement your place at the top of the table and use all sorts of googlies,doosras and other spot-fixing methodology to stump the opposition,not to mention the courts,and stay on top of the game. It helps if the bail remains intact.
The Food Stall: Visitors will miss the onion bhaji this year since it has shifted to another nearby stall stocking high-priced luxury items. But there is plenty of other foodstuff on offer,available on presentation of your Aadhaar card,which involves running idhar and udhar to get the card,present it to those running the stallwho will have it home deliveredneatly wrapped in red tape and stamped Compliments of Sonia Gandhi.
Pin the Tail on the Donkey: Hugely popular with the younger generation,this involves being blindfolded and trying to find the right spot to pin a tail on the image of a donkey. This years version is more politically correct and the donkey has been replaced by crouching tigers or hidden dragons,to ensure that it is as close as possible to the manner in which voters will be exercising their franchise in the upcoming elections.