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Carnival

Youngsters from all age groups host AJ Block kids carnival, win hearts

Sunday evening and despite shower, venue was packed

Diksha Saha | Published 12.05.23, 04:24 AM
A child serves a dish prepared by him on the spot. (Right) A visitor tries her hand at hoops at the AJ Block carnival

A child serves a dish prepared by him on the spot. (Right) A visitor tries her hand at hoops at the AJ Block carnival

Pictures by Diksha Saha

Those who have children who these days are immersed in the mobile phone playing video games should have come to the AJ Block kids carnival at AJ Park to see how the little ones can be weaned away from the intoxication with fun activities.

It was a Sunday evening and despite a shower, the venue was packed.

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Youngsters from all age groups, preschools to college goers, had come together to arrange a kids carnival. It had live music, zumba performance, a fashion show, live games and tattoo counters, not to mention food.

“I love painting, so I decided to set up a tattoo stall,” said Sharaanya Basumalik, while adding finishing touches to her customer’s tattoo. “I had participated in the kids food festival too that took place at the same venue before the lockdown. But this year I am enjoying it more because I can paint colourful tattoos on everyone,” added the student of Class VI.

Krishna Borai, a senior citizen from AJ Block, who was getting her tattoo done by Sharaanya, said: “I have never done anything like a tattoo or mehendi in my life, but today these kids have set up their stalls, so I thought of getting one to encourage them. They all like my grandchildren, so I am feeling very happy to see them working so hard here.”

Teenaged Judahith Chakraborty is interested in business and wants to become an “entrepreneur” like his father. “I have arranged a balloon shooting game, and the response is really good. This doodh cola I had tasted in a Punjabi restaurant and have recreated here,” said the student of Class VII. The doodh cola was indeed selling out fast and it was a matter of time before demand would exceed supply.

Tanishka Lahiri’s “passing the ball through the ring” game also drew a lot of attention, as the winning prizes were chocolates and chocolate cupcakes. Her enthusiastic way of making announcements on the mic were also enticing customers.

Papiya Chakraborty, the lady whose brainchild the fest was, sought help from neighbours of AJ block like Swarnali Datta, Soumoshree Saha, Shibani Paul, Mimi Saha and Sushmita Saha to manage the cash counter, host the carnival and lend a hand in several other aspects of organisation.

Many ignored the fast food options and resolutely made for Esha Barman’s food stall, which was selling salads. “These days people are becoming more health-conscious and want to eat healthy, so we decided to come up with salad recipes, which is not traditional carnival fare. So far the response is unexpectedly good, and our chicken salad is the highlight here,” said Esha, who was helped by her sister Ujjesa and cousin Samhita.

“The carnival is a very good initiative to help us reconnect with our neighbours because we usually don’t get time to meet them.” Esha added.

Mehul Chakraborti and Jhimli Saha also came up with a healthy food initiative. They served a healthier version of pasta which was made of semolina instead of flour. They had also used curd instead of cheese. They also ditched sugar and served tea with jaggery powder. This healthy initiative caught the attention of many and soon their plates were fast selling out.

The ultimate carnival food was being served at Supriyo Saha’s stall where he was serving sour chicken phuchkas. “Everyone loves phuchka but this is something different, so I am very excited to see people’s reaction.” said the student of Class VII, while garnishing a plate of phuchkas.

Aratrika Bhattarya’s corn chaat was on everyone’s lips as a novel item and her counter was abustle with customers. She had participated in the food festival held during the lockdown as well, and the experience made her more confident and calm, “I made this corn chaat with the help of my mother, and I am certain that people are going to love this sweet and tangy addition.”

Besides food and games counters, there was a fashion show by the preschoolers. Some of them were dressed as princesses, some came in traditional wear. It was the most adorable sight of the evening.

The event's organiser, Papiya Chakraborty, was pleased with the enthusiasm of the participating children. She thanked the residents of AJ Block who supported the kids with their presence.

Last updated on 12.05.23, 04:24 AM
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