I don’t know if the smartphone-toting Indian of the shopping malls still frequents festival melas. As for me, I can’t help but feel drawn to these vibrant mass gatherings during festivals.
There is a workshop near my home in Noida, east of Delhi, where sculptors mould clay into idols of Hindu gods and goddess all through the year for festivals. These occasions mean brisk business for the craftsmen, who work in a makeshift hut covered by tin sheets. The idols sell for 500 to 700 rupees, depending on the size.