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  •  Everybody loves a Carnival

Everybody loves a Carnival Author:Roshan Choudhury   Posted On:2024-01-24


The crisp winter morning of Sunday 21 January, 2024 saw a flurry of activity at Dalhousie Institute. Stalls were being set up by members and guests as they prepared for the Winter Carnival. The pink and white canopy looked festive and inviting. The spring colours added warmth to the cold winter morning.

By 11 AM members and guests started arriving to enjoy the beautiful day, and a beautiful day it was. The overcast sky signalled the possibility of some rains, but the rain gods decided to stay away, leaving us with this gorgeous winter day. Members arrived sporting smart winter finery – long coats, trendy woollens and jackets, colourful mufflers and scarves, woollen caps, boots.  Pink and white balloons adorned Uncle Alan’s Park - the children’s play area, giving it a bright welcoming feel. Children could be seen zipping up and down the slides.

The pink and white canopy created the  spectacular feel, the stalls looked both interesting and inviting. The food stalls were set up in the lawns and the non-food stalls in Indoors@DI. Temptation, both the food and non-food kind, beckoned us to explore!

The wide array of inviting food had members spoilt for choice. Steaming hot Dimsums, momos, Sri Lankan delicacies, delicious, loaded nachos, chatpati chaats, puchkas, burgers with most fresh and soft buns, sumptuous sandwiches, Khowsuey, pizza, Arabic food. The list was endless. Those seeking to quench their thirst had several options – from fresh juices to hot kesar tea and more. The dessert selection matched that of any artisan patisserie – delectable brownies, chocolate pudding, cheesecakes, sinful pastries, chewy cookies, chocolate dipped strawberries, marshmallow, and assorted chocolates, for starters.

Those looking to savour delicious cheese were spoilt for choice with the array of gourmet cheese laid out – Gouda, Goat cheese, Fontal cheese, mozzarella, smoked cheese, flavoured cheese. A no-sugar stall offered a host of healthy chocolates, nuts, seeds designed to set us on the healthy eating path. A wide selection of energy bars was also on offer.

It was a difficult choice that members faced as they decided which temptations to give into. Those who came earlier in the day were rewarded, they could savour the wonderful feast slowly, allowing them to try out most of what was on offer. Some got food packed so that the party could continue at home.

Some members had put up stalls, sharing with us their culinary talents and we were treated to their labour of love.

The non-food section held wondrous marvels. A spa section had been set up for those who wanted to get that quick nail spa done. Members and guests flocked to indulge and pamper themselves. Luxurious body lotions, hair products, and make up were on display and sale. Garments – from trendy winter wear, chickankari suits, beautiful kurtas, suit pieces, nightwear, gorgeous stoles, stylish blouses, bedsheets were up for grabs. Stunning jewellery – earrings, rings, neck pieces tempted all to indulge in some retail therapy. 

We saw some amazing talent on display, from hand-crafted jewellery using resin art and real flowers, to handmade crochet jewellery. Beautiful paintings, bottles and art pieces made by recycling products gave us an important message – to live sustainably.

Tea is an experience, and the Art-tea stall gave us an opportunity to explore the wonderful world of teas.

The Leaf Story had phenomenal pieces of Terrarium installations. These water conserving, sustainable installations were something to behold.

A toy store, a stall with useful containers, accessories, children’s bags, hide-nothing bags added to the tempting selection. A pet services stall ‘Mutts n Paws’ drew pet lovers, and travel buffs explored options offered by ‘The Riverwood Forest Retreat’.


Our enterprising child members, the Devyansh duo, the Gambhir sisters, Vivana and Kairah set up their own stalls. Devyansh and Devyansh, excelled at their marketing skills as they sold their mouth-watering deserts and chocolates. They could be seen going around the lawns with their products, encouraging members to buy. Members generously supported the enterprising duo. When asked what they would do with the money earned, they declared they were “saving up to go to America”. The world awaits them.

The Gambhir sisters, at their stall encouraged all to buy their products – from hand-painted bags, pencil pouches to beautiful jewellery. Ishana had painted the entire collection in less than a week. The sisters hadn’t decided what they would do with their earnings.

Little Vivana sold candies, bubble gum, chocolates, while Kairah engaged all in an interesting game of ‘roll the dice’.

While parents were around to support, the stalls were managed by our confident young children. What an amazing learning experience for them.

More game stalls were there for all – the basketball game was managed by our young volunteer Urvish. The ‘Kill the Rat’ game drew many as they attempted to hammer the rat before it ran away.

DJ Gurmeet added to the festive atmosphere with his music.

The ‘Spin the Wheel’ drew many as they tried their luck to win the coveted prize- a bottle of beer. A huge crowd gathered as one round happened after the another. Natalie got everyone pepped up with her encouraging words.

Several food stalls ran out of their offerings and had to refill. Ashim Nandy, our emcee for the day, kept the announcements coming as refills came.

Some guessing games had everyone put their best guesses and they attempted to guess the number of candies in a jar. Our very own ‘Grinch’ Sumit was the winner with the closest guess, taking the coveted prize of the candy jar.

Another guessing game required all to guess the weight of a cake in pounds. The cake, generously shared by Saldanha Bakery, was lifted by many as they tried their best to guess. The winner who had the cake and ate it too, was Faith, who closely guessed the correct weight of 1.8 lbs.

And the now-standard Selfie Corner with a circular frame of balloons in several shades of pink helped capture the Instagram moments for visitors.

It was a splendid afternoon spent with friends and family, with the tempting food, some retail therapy, some wonderful music and gorgeous weather making it complete. It was a day where we soaked in the positive energy such enriching experiences bring us. The smiles and happy faces seen all around were a testimony to the success of the day.

Reliable Inn, belonging to a member, was a sponsor for the event.  Our thanks to them and a note of encouragement to other members to use our advertising space and sponsorship opportunities.

Thanks to all the members and guests who put up their stalls and shared their talents with us. A vote of thanks to the DI Committee, sub-committees, office staff who all worked tirelessly to put things together for this wonderful day.