Dos and Don’ts at Poush Mela, Shantiniketan

We go directly to the main question — What was that one thing about Poush Mela that put us off?  The crazy crowd. It was too too crowded and not with the ‘right’ sort of people. That, over the years, has earned the biggest negative sentiments about Poush Mela. Loyalists keep going back for the sincere efforts of the authorities to retain the original flavour of the fair. But disappointments abound. A large section of the fair is frequented by a whole set of unruly segment of people, and you find yourself tugging at your purse or holding on to your partner while clutching your child tight so that you don’t get lost amongst this crowd. Don’t get us wrong. We fit in amongst all types of people. But here, we are talking about the type who have no interest whatsoever in the fair and are here only to be a nuisance.

One solution could be to introduce entry charges, so that at least some bit of the bad crowd can be kept at bay. The other way out could be to segregate the Mela. Presently, the handicrafts and performing arts section (which is what most tourists go for) is alongside the section meant for the villagers where day-to-day use items are sold. The former is probably one-third the size of the latter and hence, logically should be sectioned in a way that the rowdy crowd doesn’t spill over. And finally, there are no separate entry-exits to the Mela grounds. Why??? The chaos, confusion and crowd is because of this!!

Dos and Don’ts at the Poush Mela:

  1. Wear simple clothing. If you are a woman/girl, ensure you are decently covered. Helps fight the discomfort in the crowd.
  2. It gets cooler from early evening. Carry warm clothes for your child, especially a cap and muffler.
  3. Stick to the Handicrafts & Performing Arts section of the Mela. That’s where all the richness lies.
  4. Should you want to watch the music and dance programs, get your own old newspapers so that you can sit in the grounds. Remember that there aren’t any seating arrangement.
  5. Carry your own water. Although it is quite cold and one doesn’t feel too thirsty.
  6. Cameras are allowed. Just be careful with the big kits in the crowd.
  7. The fireworks, which seem to be very popular, are not worth it. Too crowded and not spectacular at all. Do not waste your time.
  8. Get the program details right at the main entrance to the Poush Mela so that you can plan your day-evening accordingly.
  9. Not much scope to bargain at the stores. Quite reasonably priced. Strike up conversations with the vendors, and if they aren’t very busy, will share interesting anecdotes about the Mela.


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