The heavy crowd and announcements blaring through loud speakers do not seem to bother them. The decorated horses faithfully follow their master through the hustle and bustle with children riding on them. The scene on a holiday evening at the PWD Grounds here is incomplete without horses from the stable of Bhasha Bhai waiting to amuse children and youngsters, who accompany their elders to visit an exhibition, a shopping festival or any such event.
Bhasha Bhai’s horses and men never fail to provide a pleasurable trip to the eager children. A resident of Tadepalli, he started bringing horses for exhibitions and marriages 35 years ago and his fascination for the animals led him on to stick to this till it grew into a full-fledged business for him. Now, he is the owner of 12 horses and also three carriages, which are hired out to marriage parties.
The proud owner of these horses also has a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment when he thinks about the employment he has provided for several youngsters. There is not much revenue on horse riding or carriages, but Bhasha Bhai is satisfied with what he has been getting that he says is enough to support his family and workers.
Whenever there are big events at the PWD Grounds and in the city surroundings, Bhasha Bhai sends his men and horses. If there is really a huge crowd, it will bring good revenue for him undoubtedly. But charges per horse ride vary from Rs. 10 to Rs. 20 depending on the extent of ride and demand.
Big opportunities come occasionally when tradition-bound elite families want to make the weddings of their dear ones very special. To lend a fairy-tale touch, they hire horse carriages which never fail to weave magic in the surroundings. The charge for sending a horse carriage for marriage function comes to over Rs. 10,000, which includes men required for handling the carriage.
“Anta bagane undi” (Everything is going well), says Bhasha Bhai, when asked whether there are enough returns on the horses. He hastens to add that it requires quite a sum to maintain horses and Rs. 150 worth feed is needed for each horse every day. Pointing to the venue, he says for the last 35 years, he has been coming here with his horses and that he has earned his livelihood from this work.