Curtain falls on annual mela of Syedan Shah
By: Raja Noor Ilahi Atif
NOORPUR THAL: Fairs are the most popular form of entertainment in Punjab. Thal is a land of fairs and festivals. Some of them are celebrated in memory of saints. A few of them have a trade purpose in view. Another class of fairs has come into vogue recently. It is for the purpose of encouraging villagers to breed a better type of cattle and camels.
In the villages of Thal, people who work hard in their fields all the year certainly need some rest and recreation. A fair also provides them relief from hard work. They leave their daily labours and throw themselves, in the fun and frolic of a fair.
One such multipurpose fair is held on the occasion of annual mela Baba Syedan Shah. This mela is held on July 16 to 18 every year. On July 16 early in the morning, smiling villagers with their camels well groomed, gathered on mela ground. The sturdy villagers, with their peculiar headdress appear quite attractive.
In the afternoon there were races of horses. At first human competitors ran races and then horses. As the horses ran at a full speed, spectators yelled and screamed like madmen. The camel race was the funniest of all.
On the occasion of the fair, it was a periodical gathering of people in an open place for the sale of goods.
A large number of people came here on the occasion to make purchases. Tradesmen and peasants squat in rows behind their big reed baskets of merchandise, perfumes, vegetables, fruit, toys etc. Here were many magicians showing their tricks to the ignorant villagers. There were many shops and stalls. Only such articles as suit the needs of villagers were sold at the shops.
The chief among those were the earthen pots, bells of oxens, shoes, lathies, copper and brass vessels and ornaments. Crowds of customers were stood at the sweet-sellers’ shops. Girls and women were busy purchasing ear-rings, bangles and other articles of small value.
In mela ground a rope-dancer also amused the audience by keeping his balance wonderfully on the rope.On 17 July, in the afternoon kabaddi match was also held, drums were beaten. The players divided themselves into two parties. The audiences were very amused by this match. Shouts were raised.
On 18 July, a horse-race was also made. There were a lot of people in mela ground on the occasion. The race-course was continued the whole day. All of them carried something or the other, tied or wrapped in a piece of cloth hanging from their shoulders. In short, the pleasure-seekers did not suffer from lack of amusement.
During the three day ceremonies of mela Baba Syedan Shah, PML-N MNA Malik Shakir Bashir Awan, PML-N MPA Malik Muhammad Waris Kallu and Khushab DCO Syed Gulzar Hussain Shah, DPO Muhammad Azhar Akram, DSP Ch Muhammad Shabbir Gujar, Assistant Commissioner Ch Muhammad Sarwar, TMO Raja Zahoor Ahmad, TOF Haji Muhammad Ramzan and Chairman Thal Development Form Malik Haji Gul Asghar Khan Baghoor also participated as chief guests on different occasions during the ceremonies of mela. Prizes were also given away to the winners of different items by the chief guests.