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Shopping carnival

Shoppers' Stop opts for the colourful theme of `Mela' - the Indian fair, for the ongoing annual shopping festival `Parikrama-2003'. Vibrant clothes, folk art and tasty snacks are on offer till August 24.

— Photos: P.V. Sivakumar

CLOTHES & CRAFTS: A wide range to choose from. — Photos: P.V. Sivakumar

THE MELA is an integral part of rural communities, providing an occasion for people to make purchases of a varied kind. Even now, the weekly haats in smaller towns, with stalls selling bangles, saris, spicy snacks and thanda, is not an unknown affair. Who can forget that good old mini giant wheel and the festive spirit that goes with the mela? However, the concept seems to have vanished from the urban settings.

Bringing together the festive colours of this traditional mela and modern silhouettes is Shoppers' Stop, with Parikrama-2003', the annual shopping festival currently on here. "Last year, the theme was `Spices' where we had used a lot of spice-based colours for the garments designed for the fest. This year, taking a cue from the vibrant hues of Indian fairs, we have created a wardrobe in festive reds from Baisakhi fair in the north to aqua tones from Alleppey Boat Race in the south. A lot of mirror work, block prints and patchwork can be found in the collection. A host of cultural presentations by folk artistes will also be held daily," says Rajiv C. Nair, Customer Care Associate & Manager-Operations Shoppers' Stop Limited, Hyderabad.

CRAFT GALORE: Work on clay.

The sleek store is decked up with colourful paper flags and decorative material symbolic of the village fairs. At various levels of the store, one finds representations of major fairs in the country — the potter's wheel from Surajkund Mela; fortune-tellers of Chitra Vichitra Tribal Mela, Poshina village, Gujarat; Ghoomar dance from Pushkar Mela; and stalls of fun and games like balloon shooting and sugar candies of Baisakhi festival.

Traditional dances, folk songs, performances by stilt walkers, magicians, puppeteers and fire-eaters, and the popular Parikrama Fashion Show are some of the other events that would be part of the shopping fare closing on August 24.

FETE RECREATED: The little pushcart gets an urban edge.

The fashion show will showcase clothes specially designed for the shopping fest. Attractively priced women's wear comprises mix-and-match lines featuring kurtas with western cuts in cottons, synthetic blends and georgettes in different lengths, featuring beadwork and bandhni. Separates, salwar kameez and dupattas are also available in the Mela range.

Western wear for women includes fitted silhouettes in blended fabrics plus gypsy skirts paired with block print tops in refreshing tones. For men, the collection brings kurtas cut shorter than normal lengths — indigo dyed with Bagru prints, and the jute look-alike range with open collars, ideal to go with jeans.

FESTIVE COLOURS: Inspired by traditional `melas.'

For children, the fare brings jodhpuris with slight detailing on earthy tones for boys and the pavada-blouse in vibrant combinations such as a deep green and red for girls.

And if the shopping exhausts you, Stop Over, the restaurant, brings typical mela delicacies such as vadas, jalebis and bondas served at the traditionally designed stalls.

GOOD EARTH: The potter's wheel occupies pride of place.

"We have tried to make the exhibition as ethnic as possible in terms of display," says Rajiv Nair. Well folks, drop in at Shoppers' Stop to have a feel of a typical mela arranged for you in a relaxing, ambience, in the heart of the twin cities.


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