550 Words Short Essay on a village fair

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Mahatma Gandhi used to say that if we want to see real India we should go to the village. Similarly if we want to see the real spirit of Indian life, we shall have to go to see villagers celebrating their fairs.

Last year I was invited by a friend to see a fair in his village. Though this fair was not an annual affair, but last year it assumed more importance and attracted a large number of visitors because one of our senior ministers had very kindly consented to inaugurate it. The minister’s consent was not an unusual thing since it was an election year.

The village was situated at a distance of about ten miles from Delhi. I traveled by cycle and reached my friend’s house about noon. It was a cloudy day and the countryside looked beautiful.

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The minister arrived in time. He was preceded and followed by a number of policemen. In the life of villagers visits by such dignitaries are a very unusual affair. Everyone bowed in deep respect and no one spoke laudably. I was wondering whether the atmosphere created by the presence of the minister was in tune with the gay spirit of the fair.

After the ceremonial departure of the minister, villagers as if heaved a sigh of relief. They came in increasingly large numbers. They were in their colorful best. Men, women and children were very happily advancing towards the mela grounds near the tomb of a Muslim saint.

Many stalls had sprung up. There were toy-sellers and sweat meat sellers. Every child was forcing his parents to buy toys. The toys and the sweat meats were dust-laden as every blow of wind laid a fresh coat of dust on them. There were no roads, only dusty pathways led to the stalls and the fair ground.

Some distance from the stalls I saw a juggler performing his tricks. The simple-minded villagers saw at his tricks with open-mouthed wonder and felt beside themselves with joy at every new trick.

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Another group of villagers was enjoying the feats of a ropedancer. Children and women were availing themselves of swinging in the air on ropes tied to the trees. Everywhere and in every heart there was joy. The colorful dresses of children and women and their songs added to the beauty of the fair.

Near the tomb I saw about half a dozen Muslim saints sitting quietly and receiving the homage of the simple villagers who gathered there every year to invoke the blessings of the great saint to keep the evil spirits away from their fields. A group of villagers formed a circle and danced hand in hand around the tomb. A couple of women also took part in it.

As evening fell, the fair came to an end. The villagers dispersed as easily as they had gathered. There were no traffic jams, no policemen to control mischief-makers and no voluntary agencies to look after the missing children. Everybody in the village knew one another and there was no fear of loneliness. This show of brotherhood among the villagers deserves to be followed by city-dwellers.

I took leave of my friend after taking my dinner with him and reached home to relate my experiences of the day to my younger brother and sister.

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