The trade fair in Pragati Maidan for the year 2010 started on November 14th but was not open to public until 19th November. The experience I had the previous year has taught me not to go to IITF in a weekend and was planning to take a off some time in the weekday to visit the trade fair which I did not want to miss in any cost.
While I was still wondering when to take the leave I got to know that Interviewers were required in office this Sunday for some walk-ins my company had planned. I luckily made a deal with my senior colleague and convinced him that I will volunteer to be in office the following Sunday if I was allowed to take off the Friday. With my plans to visit Pragati maidan on a weekday coming in shape I was more than happy chalking the travel plans for the next day. Since I assumed it would be difficult to find parking nearby the Pragati Maidan I decided to use the Delhi Metro from Mayur Vihar. Although the initial plan was to wake up early and leave for the trade fair early morning, we were able to leave home only around 11 AM, but luckily got an auto till the nearest metro station, where I also bought the entry ticket for the Trade fair and in no time we were at the Pragati Maidan gate near the Metro Station.
Even though it was Friday morning there was a good crowd lined up in the entry for security checking. There were lines separate for Ladies and Gentlemen and one dedicated line for those who did not carry and bags with them. Since this was a very small line and there was no point that me and my wife carrying a bag each wait in line, I asked my wife to hand over her hand-purse to me and quickly use the third line but at last moment it was known that the no bags line was only for Men. Even thought dissapointed I handed over the bag and hand-purse now to my wife and I quickly completed my security check and started waiting for my wife for whom it almost took half an hour in the long line and limited security equipments.
As soon as we entered we were able to get into stall number 8,9,10,11 which housed the cosmetics, CSIR technology hall (Psst do not miss the DNA identification stall here). Hall number 12 is home appliances good to see stalls from Toshiba, BSA (some nice tread mills & Cycles), Singer sewing machine, Prestige etc., A lot of these brands were offering great discounts to woo customers. Even though I was enjoying all these my wife was in the lookout for the Khadi stall where she would get some nice sarees. We soon exited the Stall 12 and reached the Khadi stall which is near the Maharashtra hall.
The Khadi Gramudyog stall is the place where you could find the handicraft or hand-woven cloths from all over India. Do lookout for the nice bamboo and cane furniture's here. While my wife was still on the lookout for the sarees I spotted a interesting object. A small motorcycle totally made out of bamboo parts. Even the wheel of the bike is a bamboo diagonally cut piece. There is no plastic/metal part in the mobike but all bamboo. This was from the Nagaland Stall and It was so catchy that it will surely interest anyone. This guys had very less stock and have no plans to get more from Nagaland. The motorcycle was priced at Rs.1500 which at the first may seem slightly more but in a second thought the delicate work surely is worth of it. There was also a Glider/Airplane that was also made using only bamboo. This was a bit lesser in price (Rs.300) owing to the less amount of effort involved in this. I was able to bargain and strike a deal of Rs.1500 for both the bike and the airplane which I felt was a fair deal. My wife still around the saree stall was able to spot a beautiful Kantha work saree which she bought for Rs.4500 and a suit material with Kashmiri work over that.
Finally tired walking till now we took a snacks break and again resumed visiting the remaining stalls. The Hall no 6 which is having the international stalls from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Korea, Indonesia. (Do checkout the marble works from Pakistan and stone pendants and ornaments from Afghanistan)