The year’s edition of Numaish comes to a close today. Old-timers look back and tell how they remember the iconic exhibition.

A yearly adventure

When I was a child, to go to Numaish was an adventure. “Chal Numaish jaana hai!” we’d say to each other and it was something we would look forward to all year round.

We would save up our money throughout the year so that we could shop and enjoy ourselves; I’d buy bangles, earrings, clothes and also eat a lot of snacks. Those days we were not allowed to go out and shop as you are today but Numaish was an exception. Naturally, we used to go on the Ladies day, when the grounds would be open only for women and we would have a really good time walking around with our relatives and friends.

Jeelani Bano, Urdu writer

Shoppers’ paradise

I came to Hyderabad after marriage so I remember Numaish as a place I would regularly take my kids to, about 20 years ago. What attracted me the most was the shopping; Hyderabad doesn’t have a place where you get so many things under one roof so this was something to look forward to. Besides, the stalls catered to all needs and tastes and anyone could afford it. The children would enjoy the jhoola and giant wheel and eat Chaat and mirchi bhajji. I remember going on Ladies day; that was a different experience altogether. The ground was filled with women from villages all around Hyderabad; they were all dressed so well under their burqas. I was happy to see them enjoy the food and experience.

Rashmi Seth, theatre personality

A VIP perspective

Numaish was one of those iconic events of Hyderabad. If you had guests from out of town during the month of January, you had to take them to Numaish. I went there regularly between 1959 and 64 as I was director of the Information and Public Relations Department. We had a special entry with car passes and free parking as well. My children would also join me and there would be a person to take them around while I finish all the formalities and there was always high tea and dinner, if you stayed long enough. The exhibition also used to be a venue for mushairas and other small programs featuring out-of-station performers. Apart from these things, there was the shopping. It was a place where all the city bazaars of India came together in one place and companies would also showcase their innovations there. I remember Allwyn showcasing a new model of fridges once, and it was also where I first saw a cooking range and there were of course lots to eat. Shankarji, that’s what we used to call him because no one really knew his full name, one of the founder-secretaries was the spirit of Numaish. He worked with the committee till his last days.

Narendra Luther, historian