Visitors try their hand at a game, at the fair in Ranchi on Sunday. Pictures by Hardeep Singh
Food, food and er some more food.
Gorkha flavours tempted Ranchi’s taste buds as the capital munched on some delectable momos and mouth-watering thukpas during Day Two of the Anand Mela, that is being organised to celebrate the 133rd Rising Day of the Jharkhand Armed Police’s first battalion.
The three-day mela, which has no entry fee, saw a steady trickle of visitors throughout the day, mostly by people looking to spend a Sunday off gorging on the variety of food items — from chicken rolls to sheekh kebabs to keema pao — on offer at its stalls.
“The mela has grown with every passing year,” quipped Ranjeeta Pradhan, who has been visiting the fair ever since it started in 1978.
JAP member Abhishek Kumar, an organisers who has also been a regular at the fair, added that last year they hosted 72 kiosks as compared to the 91 this year.
Prodded for other hot favourites, apart from the food items, Kumar said clothes, including silk dresses brought from Varanasi and Hazaribagh and woollens from Darjeeling had clicked with the crowds so far, as had the leather boots, kukhris and prayer wheels.
“We stick to a no-profit motive during the fair. We just charge a nominal amount from the owners for putting up their kiosks, which is far less than what the other mela organisers do,” Kumar claimed.
Shashi Chhetry, another member of the unit, chipped in by saying that though the fair was not as old as the force itself, it had always been a favourite of the residents.
JAP-I unit jawan Hemant Rana added that the fair had originally started as a small affair.
“The jawans would put up tents and display their culinary skills. It has really grown big since then,” he said.