Tuesday, January 16, 2018
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The Makarsankranti  bath lasted for two days. But because of the cold, foggy and at times rainy weather, the petty shopkeepers in the Mela area  could not have as bumper  a sale as was anticipated. A large number of footpath traders were disappointed because of the weather. 

The sun did make fleeting appearances but the threat of fog if not rain kept most of the pilgrims on tenterhooks. They wanted to go back home as early as possible to avoid the onslaught of the unpredictable weather. But even so, the sales were good enough to lend a cheer to those who managed to hook customers despite the weather. But  their lament was that had the weather been clear their sales would have been much better. If some traders were seen to be downcast it was probably because they had invested more money than the returns they were getting. But this is just the beginning.
In the past, pilgrims, after the holy bath, would stay on to enjoy the warm sunshine , listen to sermons of saints, enjoy free meals at Bhandaras and  watch the thrilling spectacle of the well-lighted Mela area at night  which looked like  a fairy land in the fables. But this time, all those expectations have vanished into the foggy air.  For one, the bright and shining lights are hardly visible in their original form.  The haziness in the atmosphere has also tended to dampen the moods of the pilgrims who look for a safe halting site and are least interested in sightseeing especially when there are hardly any bonfires around to act as magnets for attracting the pilgrims. Once their mission of having a dip is complete nothing interests them more in this foggy weather than to catch the earliest train  for the homeward journey. Likewise those who arrived much later were seen to be rushing towards the Mela from the stations. The roads were thus jampacked with incoming and outgoing pilgrims. And it is the tempos that were making hay the most as the sun of rare opportunity shone for them in a big way.

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Magh Mela 2014

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