Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Hyderabadi Numaish

"Numaish" is an urdu word and it means "exhibition". The 65th Annual Industrial Exihition has already been inaugurated here in Hyderabad. This Numaish has a special significance for Hyderabadees. The exhibition ground is located in Nampally, the heart of the city. In the evenings during the Numaish period, the streets around the place are clogged mostly with pedestrians, autorickshaws, two-wheelers and cars. People wait for the Numaish throughout the year as it's a 'once in an year' affair. A few months before the grand numaish, hyderabadees prefer to postpone their shopping until the Numaish. The wait, as they say, is worth it because of the discounts they get and the variety they get in most of the goods available in Numaish.

The range of goods starts from garments, bed covers, carpets, upholstery, furniture, household goods, electronic items, consumer durables and it is so inexhaustible that it can't be mentioned here. Apart from that, ice-cream parlours, flavoured-milk stalls and chat corners account for another reason why people crave for giving a visit at least. Children have their own gala time enjoying various amusement rides especially the mini train which takes a round of the numaish. And here...Adults don't stay behind. They too jump onto the train to have a ride.

Though some people think that they can have all these things in Hyderabad even outside the exhibition but most Hyderabadees love to shop during exhibition which also leaves them with some fond memories. The general mood is upbeat and shoppers as well as shopkeepers feel proud in claiming that this is 5th, 10th or.....65th time they are visiting or participating in the exhibition.

While talking about exhibitions, I would not forget to mention the Aligarh Numaish which is as popular in Aligarh as this one in Hyderabad. The Aligarh Numaish is also organized around the same time of the year i.e. Jan-Feb and it is more structured and well planned.

People form Meerut boast that the meerut exhibition popularly called as "Nauchandi" is the largest exhibition in the country. It is so popular that a train running from Lucknow to Meerut is named as "Nauchandi Express".

To sum up, these exhibitions are a part of Indian culture. We have a history of village fairs called "Mela" in Hindi. This 'mela' evolved with time and became "Numaish" or "Exhibition". Earlier, when they were started, they had an objective of making goods available to public alongside a festival. It offered some wonderful discounts to promote sale and business as well as people's buying power.

As of today, our means of business have improved to the extent that we can buy anything at any time of the year. The Transport System within the country has made it happen that you get Kashimiri Kaftaan or shawl in South Indian state of Tamilnadu. With this kind of set-up, we might not need exhibitions or Numaish but for the sake of preserving our culture, we surely do...