A date with nuts

A date with nuts

Milling crowds on the approach roads to Basavanagudi only indicate why the ongoing 'Kadlekai Parishe', held in the locality for decades, is considered one of the defining events of Bengaluru.

 

You can see people on Bull Temple Road and the adjacent streets elbowing their way through the crowd to buy the groundnuts of their choice from the scores of stalls that have sprung up.

 

Stalls selling toys and other knick-knacks, makeshift eateries and game counters complete the carnivalesque mood at the fair.

 

The event attracts regulars who have been coming here for as long as they remember. Youngsters have also been thronging the venue.

 

Raghunandan N from Cognizant, Manyata Tech Park, is no stranger to 'Kadlekai Parishe'. He grew up in and around Basavanagudi and recollects how he was first taken to the annual peanut fair by his grandfather when he was barely 10.

"I have been a regular visitor for the last 30 years. I now take my daughter there. While the different varieties of groundnuts remain the main attraction, the fair has grown from what it was when it started. Today it has everything to entertain people of all age groups," says Raghunandan.  

Women are easily drawn to the stalls that sell decorative items, kitchenware and jewellery. Gowri M N, a housewife, says that she never returns empty-handed from the fair.

"Some of the items, displayed at the fair are not available in regular markets. There are handmade showpieces, handicrafts and toys that are rare. Some of the 'Dasara' dolls in my collection have been picked up during the earlier fair. There are dolls made for particular festivals," says Gowri.

Areas in and around the Bull Temple Road still have the charm of old Bangalore and many like Sandeep Kumar, a businessman, finds 'Kadlekai Parishe' a chance to revisit these old places.

"As a child, I didn't understand the significance of the festival but as I grew older, I was fascinated by the history. Events like this give youngsters an insight into the stories behind the grand fair. I love being a part of the crowd and there is always a sort of infectious energy in the place," feels Sandeep.

Anybody who visits the fair never leaves without carrying groundnuts with them. Shobha S, a teacher, says, "I buy groundnuts for our home and pack extra for our friends and neighbours. We have a feast of sorts whenever we bring home the groundnuts because there's so much that you can make with it. We make sweets, chutney powder and other delicacies with it."

The fair is also every foodie's delight. Raghu R, a sales manager with Gravity India, says that he goes there not only to witness the event but also to relish puffed rice specialties and 'Chilli bajji'.

"The food stalls are a treat in itself. But I wish the organisers had taken more measures to manage the crowd in a better way. There are times when the crowd can get a little unruly," observes Raghu.

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