This autumn in Berlin, the State Exhibition Grounds of Hall number 9 lived flamboyant world colors. Traders from various corners presented their wares. Eager to do business, every participant highlighted their best; using spotlights, focus, and an array of imaginations.
At the yearly import shop fair, another few days of radiant activities in the city showered optimism, a welcome change from prolonged coverage of negative news, no work, no jobs …
Precisely numbered stands decorated, as per representing countries. Corridors lay with red carpets, a pleasure for saunters. Christmas, knocking doors, visitors wore buying moods. November mizzle could not dampen lofty spirits, forcing sunshine stretch happy hours.
Partitioned by a restaurant, sapping beer, neighbored by Russia and Turkey marquee selling costume jewellery, Rati felt lucky at the location of their stand. They need not go far for quick nourishes, when hungry between ten to six o’clock in the evenings.
Voices of merry kids merged obliging parents. Groups of bouncing schoolchildren carrying rucksacks, escorted by teachers stopped at stalls buying knick-knacks, trinkets, souvenirs. Hands in pockets, somber wholesalers fixed appointments to discuss their orders. Insisting spouses convinced each other on their choice articles.
Rushing end to end in tempo, her customers’ demand, Rati answering queries, replaced sold articles at an enormous. Her colleagues too were breathlessly joyous, delighted to provide in exchange of crisps.
Their items were imports from India. Rati like a handful of other Indians lived in the capital of Germany, working freelance.
From Bollywood posters, fashion jewellery, precious, semi precious ornaments, woodcarvings, handicrafts, wall hangings, lampshades, paper Mache, speck stone boxes, stone and brass figures, leather articles, bedspreads, silk saris … the articles were uproarious insurgence of colors.
No passer by could resist the magnificent splendor sprawled before their eyes.
That of late, Hindi films made comfortable with quality translation on German commercial TV channels, many of the Bollywood stars were not unknown faces. Rati did not surprise at demands for Sharukh, Aishawarya posters by young and old alike. Facts, no exaggerations, Kajol, Rani Mukherjee, Preity Zinta, Priyanka Chopra, and Hrithik Roshan were other hot favorites of the Germans for placards.
Additionally sentimental visitors provided personal feedback on recent Bollywood show held in Admiral Palast Hall enjoying the same tremendously. They felt the hall too small for the superb show. Rati could understand their feelings.
Apart brilliance, perfumes from burnt incense extended magic across the hall. People swarming like bees and butterflies surrounded their stall…
Next morning Rati had to rush, early, and unpack before the customers arrived, arrange more items replenished by the warehouse in Bighorn-dam
While thus she prepared, her Turkish neighbor Mr H Hayran strolled to the stand courteously wished good morning, and could not stop commenting on India, being the only country of happy dazzling bright colors in the world.
“Sure it is, in that matter all Asia Pacific lands echo colors,” modestly Rati tried to smoothen the compliment of the young man, adding China, to the list of crimson glories.
“Maybe but still cannot match India’s symphony of colors, which is very special, even celebrating a distinctive festival of colors,” said the young man refusing to compromise humility, Rati expressed.
“Holi, festival of colors indeed, the Turkish man seems well-informed,” quietly Rati thought in mind.
“From where and how you get such colors of life?” a visibly curious Mr H Hayran added further with a question. Noticing earnest Mr Hayran, Rati, and her colleague exchanged smiles.
“It is no mystery” Rati quipped. She continued, “You see, we have harvested colors from the rainbow” unpacking a box of shawls.
“From the rainbow” repeated Mr H Hayran, convinced and content at her answer, returns to his own gazebo amused.
On microphone in several languages, announcing the fair open for the day, a pleasant female voice, wish good morning and success to the exhibitors. Rati illuminates a candle in front of Luxmi Ganesha, perched secure on cash counter. Their second day begins with a vibrant gusto!