Memories Hazy And Vivid

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Eighty-two years old now and his memory of the first visit to Bali Jatra is a bit hazy. “It was around 1957,” says Ramaballav Mishra, now a resident of Bhubaneswar. “Yes, it was a big fair even then. The crowd was mostly rural and it was dusty. The ambience was festive and one loved the bustle and the noise. Actually, it was the most happening time in the dormant city. We had Durga puja but the number of outsiders visiting the fair, to ply their trade or just to enjoy it all, was much bigger.” Like thousands of others, he too relished dahibara-aloo dum. A couple of trips to the site was a must during college days, he adds.

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