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Fun fest for femme force

Be it the corporate lady on the move or the busy homemaker, Sananda has over the years found favour with women of all ages. The magazine dealing with social, cultural and women-oriented issues has established its brand identity further through workshops, beauty contests and now the Sananda Carnival ' an educational, fun-filled family extravaganza.

This year, the Dabur Anmol Coconut Jasmine Hair Oil Sananda Carnival was held at Nalban on February 4, 5 and 6.

Packed with celebrity stage shows, interesting workshops, fun contests and good food, it was a gala for not only the readers of Sananda, but their families and friends as well.

The three-day fest kicked off on Saturday with author Shobhaa De and actor Prosenjit the star attractions. Shobhaa, who came with daughters Arundhuti and Anindita, seemed pleased with the mood at the carnival. ďThe ambience is great and I am happy to be a part of this fun fiesta. With so many stalls and events lined up, people here are going to have a nice time,Ē said the lady. She, along with Prosenjit, even matched a step or two with tribal dancers.

A group of tribal women humming folk songs and swaying to drum beats greeted guests as soon as they entered the venue. One could then move on to the kidsí corner, decorated with colourful balloons at the entrance and life-sized Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck shaking hands with the little ones. The enclosure saw creativity at full flow with children engaged in drawing and making ice-cream stick collages. Magic shows, games like Looping the Loop, Fishing the Fish and Passing the Parcel added to the fun.

The mehndi and nail art stalls drew high footfalls, with women of all age groups getting their hands painted and some sitting patiently as their nails were decorated with paint, glitter and stone. Workshops on fabric painting on clothes, painting on pottery and calorie control drew women in large numbers.

A cookery workshop that focussed on microwave cooking had Dipannita Bhatia, along with two others, demonstrating recipes of cakes, Methi Chicken and Baked Pomfret. Armed with notepads, participants wrote down the tips and enthusiastically answered food-related questions at a quiz show accompanying the session.

The clothes stalls offering an assortment of saris, salwar suits, ghagra cholis, ponchos and kurtas were also popular. Some other stalls offered beauty products and electronic gadgets.

The Ponds Googly Woogly Contest invited more than 100 participants and the winners were chosen on the basis of a one-liner they had to write about Ponds. The winners were Sanjukta De, Kathakali Basu and Nivedita Banerjee. There were Most Beautiful Hair contests on each of the three days.

The food spread was one of the main attractions at the festival. Stalls set up by Haka, Oysters, Bijoli Grill, Bedouin and others offered munchies like fish fries, chicken cutlets, sandwiches and burgers, or even whole meals.

The evenings were reserved for celebrity performances. On the first day, compere Mir set the mood, interacting freely with the crowd. A karaoke round had the young and the not so young singing along with popular Hindi numbers. But it was Mirís version of Are deewano that drew maximum cheers.

Later it was Pratik Chowdhury who entertained the audience with melodies like Oi aanka baanka poth and Mon pakhi.

On the second day, Krosswindz belted out Bengali folk melodies. Surprise guest Babul Supriyo took the stage for a few minutes, amidst loud cheers and whistles. On repeated requests, he sang Chayer dokane adda shokal sondhe and Pyar hua hai pehli baar. Krosswindz resumed their performance with Sundori komola naache and Sohaag chaand, with children from the crowd keeping pace with the tunes. Rupankar took over next with Shopoth and Jodi mon.

On the final evening, the crowd was treated to a performance by percussionist Bikram Ghosh, before the three-day gala came to an end with a display of fireworks.

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