Lucknow Mahotsav – The True Cultural Epitome Demands Overhaul

Aditi: Since how many years you have been a travel blogger?
Me: 2 years, and you?
Aditi: Do you have a bucket list?
Me: Indeed, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Himachal are on the cards.
Aditi: Hey, BTW, from which city you are?
Me: *Thinking* Ummm…Lucknow
Aditi: Ahhaaaaan, to aap Nawabon ki Nagri se hai…Adab our Tehzeeb ke Shaher se *Gesturing the Adaab*

A travel blogger does not cook up but lives real life experiences, and above one has always been reality whenever I am on my escapade. Suddenly, you find people changing their language as well as body language as soon as they hear, Lucknow.

The conversation becomes a pendulum between far-reaching travel experiences and my hometown. Have you noticed people in the surrounding stretch straight as soon as you name Lucknow? The name itself speaks of its culture and grandeur.

You all have already seen my SLOW and got to know me talking about my hometown is fascinating yet complicated sometimes. The present-day Lucknow has its character reflected in Lucknow Mahotsav – the most awaited fair-cum-cultural event of Lucknow. I was excited to witness new things that this Mahotsav may have up its sleeves.

Being a cultural heritage of the city, the Mahotsav is always awaited and visited by all the lucknowites; I’m included. Rarely you will find people not having childhood memories and shopping delight at Lucknow Mahotsav. Reason being, I was running high on expectations and excitement. However, it appeared by visiting the Mahotsav that City Administration does not sympathize with the excitement of the citizens.

Upon visiting the Mahotsav, I realized that the administration aptly understood that the festival is for the Ordinary People. However, they choose Ordinary as an operative word instead of people.

I mean how can Lucknow Mahotsav not have enough Makhkhan Malai Stops or Batashe Stops? Have lucknowites stopped eating these two most delicious and defining dishes? Not really.

However, on the serious note, the extension of the Awadh Shilpgram as a part of the Mahotsav was not a really convincing decision. I heard many people disapproving the idea. Even if we believe that the purpose was to introduce something new, the Mahotsav Committee have only succeeded in running extended money marathon.

One of the main reason Lucknow celebrates Mahotsav is to witness cultural confluence under the one roof. However, The Northeast, Kashmir, Punjab, and Rajasthan was missing in this Mahotsav. Be it cultural activities or stores for shopping, Gujarat was the only representative of our pluralism. The most striking part was the absence of Uttar Pradesh. For example, Saharanpur Furniture was missing at this Mahotsav.

I remember last year, I enjoyed a lot in gigantic swings at Rs 80. This time, the time of the ride was reduced and the price was doubled. Why should we forget that every family does not have Babu as its bread-earner? Anyway, Lucknow does not possess parks with rides for the kids. Therefore, these prices of the fun ride should be kept in check for kids.

The life in Lucknow itself is a Mahotsav. Besides, Lucknow stands for rich traditions, exotic cuisines, and a grand heritage of architectures. Our endeavors to highlight Lucknow and its tradition should not go in vain. What if a common citizen of Lucknow like me does not strike a chord with our own festivals after spending millions of rupees.

Lucknowites usually are happy with small gestures and do not long for grandiose hype. I wish the next Mahotsav will be in its traditional place and will have simple but impactful things that allow Lucknowites to enjoy the fullest.

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