Noida: All promotions were the same, including publicity on the website and social media, about the Monsoon Mela that started on July 1, 2022, at sector 33A. The timings set are 11 am to 8 pm. Like every time, craftsmen from all over the country have come with their unique work here. However, the monsoon mela that will go on till July 25 has failed to attract shoppers till now.
Curious to find out what was happening at the Monsoon edition of Noida Haat, CitySpidey visited sector 33 A sharp at 11 am. To our dismay, the entire space was vacant, and only 1-2 shops were open.
As we waited for the shops to open, we met Ankita Ray, a resident of Hyde Park, who looked lost and disappointed. She says, “I came for some shopping. I am quite surprised to see that there is nothing here. It is not as colourful as in previous times. If there are no shops open then why have given this time."
Slowly, the shutters were lifted and shops started opening. Anju Tripathi, a designer and resident of Ajnara Daffodils, sector 137, has set up a stall of pure cotton bed sheets and covers and clothes. We saw a display of Sanganeri, Indigo print, Block print, Bagru print, Dabu, and Chanderi prints. A good collection of cotton dohar was also available. She says, “No chemical has been used in these prints. They are exclusively from Rajasthan, and they are costly as they are naturally dyed."
She continues, "The natural products from kitchen items such as harad are used, we keep them dipped in the water for 2-3 days and then the colour comes out. A paste is made of mud and then the blocks are painted with them. It is a long process and takes effort. In the rainy season, we cannot work as the cloth will not get dry. If we have to make the black colour, we will extract colour through the nuts, bolts etc for years and years. And then the black colour is achieved. These naturally dyed needs to be hung opposite to sunlight."
Despite her fine collection, Anju is disappointed at the less footfall at the Noida Haat. "I do not know whether it is the humidity or monsoons that is stopping people from coming. But certainly it is a big loss for us," says Anju.
Seema Singh has set up her shop in Noida Haat and has come from Pilakuwa from Ghaziabad. She deals with the bedsheets, bed covers, and dohars at a more competitive cost. These are cotton-based mixed handloom fabrics, that are machine-made and make use of some artificial colours. Seema Singh says, “The cloth will tear eventually but the colours will remain intact for years."
Saheli Gramudyog, spices and papad manufacturer from Noida, is the favourite stall ever of the Noida Haat as it always has something new to serve the residents of Noida. Saheli Gramudyog is back with many new spices and seasonings like peri peri masala, ready-to-eat corn chips, hatras heeng, kadhi masala among others.
We met Piyush Bhatia who was heading the stall. He says, “Apart from all the regular stuff, the new thing we have introduced is the barbeque masala and the garlic chutney, which I guarantee will give a restaurant flavour to any meal. Many other things like Multani Badi, chawal katli, aam ka heeng wala achar, kachori pitthhi, are our trusted products."
Shivkumar, a resident of Baraula, Sector 49, Noida has put a stall of bedsheets, doormats, hankies, pillow covers, seat covers, carpet etc says, Talking about his experience at Monsoon mela, he says, “There is no response this time. It is a waste to put a stall here. Our staff is just attracting dust. Winters is the right time when the footfall is best. We sit here all day but no one turns out."
Further, we saw Mohd Arif's stall who has come from Gonda UP with the colourful Kota Doriya sari, Muga Silk saree from Assam and is now a national style statement for many. Arif says, “These sarees are exclusively produced in Assam and are distinguished by its colour. The glossy fine texture and golden sheen of Muga silk make it superior to the rest of the Indian silk sarees, Katan silk is the fine, soft and delicately lustrous kind of silk that has been made Banarasi renowned the world over which starts from 4500 rupees.
Sudheera Devi, from Bihar, was seen decking up her stall full of paper mesh containers, wall paintings of Madhubani art, and small jute hanging toys. She had high hopes that people from Noida will visit her and will appreciate her Madhubani art. She says, “We use herbs and flowers and various kitchen items to colour these paintings. It takes months to make these designs. These are so intricate that we have to protect them from everything."
Sudheera Devi, from Bihar had high hopes that people from Noida will visit her and will appreciate her Madhubani art paintings. However, Sudheera's hopes are dashed by the less footfall at the mela. @HaatNoida #noidanews #noidamela #monsoonmela pic.twitter.com/aVp97K0p1y— CitySpidey (@city_spidey) July 14, 2022
However, Sudheera's hopes are dashed by the less footfall at the mela. She says, “There is no profit, we are paying 15000 at the time of booking and no one is turning up. The few who come bargain and because of no other options, I have to sell at a loss."