Dry Fish Special

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What makes a fair special? It has to be the fascinating mix of smells, sounds and sights. It was true half a century ago; it holds true now  “The first thing that hit you when you approached Killa Padia from Chandi Madira during Bali Jatra was the smell of dry fish. Traders, mostly from Paradip, occupied the roadside and displayed their goods on small outstretched mats. The stink was unbearable. You had to hold your nose while passing through that stretch, usually the outer fringe of the fair. But this market attracted a significant number of buyers too,” says Dileep Patnaik, 78. Why would dry fish be in such demand? “We wondered about that too. But that is how it has always, been,” he replies with a smile.

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