A nine-year-old boy peeped among the thousand heads, clinging onto his father’s arm with a small picture in his hand. His father, a poster seller, has managed to sell around 500 posters of various shapes and sizes, featuring Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. His little son Guddu, had joined hand with his father. “Take pictures of Didi, leader of Maa-Mati-Manush ...” the boy was chanting among the sea of people.
On Thursday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was not only present on the stage but her presence was seen all over the city, among the masses. Didi’s poster, life-size cut-outs, framed pictures, paper-made masks were most sought after things in the rally. The big screens and the loud speakers were neatly installed in the roads and youth Trinamool Congress party workers were present for every help. The people, who could not reach to the stage, stood there to hear Chief Minister’s speech.
Near Esplanade, an old man was also selling Chief Minister’s photographs. “I have two specific sizes. The comparatively larger one is priced Rs 30 and the smaller one is for Rs 10. I have sold 200 photographs from morning. It is really an amazing day,” the photograph seller said.
However, the city photographers have come to capture all the mesmerising moments of the day and they were really happy at the end. “I have been coming for this occasion for years. But today, my lens could get a different vibe,” a city based photographer said.
The city, mostly the Esplanade area had turned into a fair zone on Thursday. The people from North and South Bengal have come to Kolkata to attend the rally along with went for shopping.
“I have brought a hat made of cane and my daughter bought a mask from a person who came from Purulia,” said Arati Jalan, a North Kolkata resident.
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress worker Abir Banerjee, who came from Siliguri to attend the rally, had visited some renowned sweet shops in the city. “It is not that I come here regularly. But I visit every Martyrs’ Day rally since last five years. Today I will shop for my family and will take the train on Thursday,” said Banerjee.
Rajibul Ali, a Nadia resident has come up with clay models. He has sold 60 clay models near Esplanade Metro station. “Now I will buy a salwar-kameez for my wife,” Ali said while counting money that he earned on Thursday.
Many people, dressed in amazingly colourful clothes and hat has turned the Esplanade area in a virtual fair ground. “I love to wear fancy-dresses. I am regular in football ground dressed with East Bengal clubs jersey with red and gold colour paint in face. Today, I have come for didi,” a man said dressed in fancy shirt, hat and a mask.