“Oh Noori, Noori…”, chants the speaker as you enter through the Ajanta gate, into the Nampally exhibition grounds. You will undoubtedly be transported into another era; the era of Melas, as you blend in with the thousands of sprawling shoppers.
Every Hyderabadi looks forward to New Year’s, because its not just the beginning of a new year as it also means that the Nampally Exhibition, also known locally as the Numaish is around the corner.
The exhibition draws traders and shoppers from across the country. Kashmiri clothes and dry fruits, Kolhapurichappals, suits and saris of various styles, furniture, accessories and mouth watering food; chat bhandars, authentic Hyderabadi, South Indian, Chinese, Moghlai and the list is endless. In short, anything that is part of India and Indian culture can be seen here.
In the last couple of years there have been some minor changes to the exhibition. For example, the old train tracks have been removed. The train still runs but on wheels. The ground too has been tiled this time, in most places, leaving only a few patches of bare ground to reduce the dust factor.
However, there are some things though that will never change. The salesman from all the different shops and stalls calling out and persistently inviting you into their shops is also something synonymous with the Numaish. One must at all times, maintain a certain distance as the moment you are within the proximity of any of these stalls, it is almost impossible to get away. You will be coaxed into buying something or left bereft with all the pestering at times.
When it comes to food, Bade Miyyan Kebab’s is the one stop that every shopper must make. Though this year the location of the eatery has changed (most shops always maintain the same places every year) and seems to have become more permanent; the standard and taste of its famous kebab’s and of course, pathar ka gosht remain the same and as delicious as ever.
It is imperative that more changes will be made in the future but the soul of the Numaish will remain the same forever.