Numaish Ka Tamaasha

-Priya Rathnam

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Umpteen number of stalls, uncountable customers, colourful dresses, an array of saris, mesmerizing handicrafts, mouthwatering eateries, awaiting sellers, worried security staff is all what you find in NUMAISH! Dry fruits from Kashmir to the handicrafts from Tamil Nadu, crafts by house wives to the handmade products by jail convicts and much more are displayed in the 46-day annual fair held in the Exhibition Grounds, Nampally.

The 77th All India Industrial Exhibition, renowned as Numaish amongst the local Hyderabadis commenced way back in 1938 by a group of graduates from Osmania University. What began as a small fair with 50 stalls for ten days grew to 60 stalls open for 20 days in the next year. And so it grew. Today Numaish is giving shelter to more than 3,000 employees with 2,500 stalls in its 23 acres of area.

Exhibiting various eye catching products, the jaw dropping collection ensured that the customers made a beeline for this entertaining-cum-industrial exhibition, which was one of its kinds for several decades. Its popularity and the common man’s interest waned over the years as huge malls round the year took over the space of this Numaish.

Today, despite this, lakhs of people visit this place with kids enjoying the train rides and the spicy kharas. However, lack of government support and changing tastes in customer buying behaviors’ have left several sellers face a decrease in the number of footfalls with every succeeding year. “I’m Hyderabad-based and I have a stall every year” said Ahmed, a crockery stall owner from the fair. He voiced his disappointment saying, “My dad started exhibiting crockery for the past 40 years. When the business finally came to me, I tried to improve the collection according to the changing tastes of customers, as I have been seeing the customers over several years.” But it does not always pay as sometimes they don’t buy anything at all. They just see and go, while many a time, bargaining eats away our profits.”

Suresh Pawar, an antique shop owner from Nanded said something on similar lines.”As the antiques are very rare, I choose them for display in my stall. This year, however both demonetization and the high rate of antiques had caused a tremendous drop in my customers this year”. The visitors to this exhibition ofcourse are still happy to just visit the place.

As one visitor from Punjab, Keerthana Singh summed up, “I try visiting this exhibition every year without fail. There are splendid varieties of handicrafts, furniture etc. from various parts of India.   I find it really interesting to be a part of Numaish, as it showcases the cultural diversity of India”. There are many awaiting for the Numaish which comes every year with more colours.

 

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