The Dream House

Come November and Chandigarh's Leisure Valley exudes a new feel and is enveloped in the colours of the carnival. Every year, for the people of the city, this is a meeting ground for music, dance, games, poetry and innovative tableaux under the sun. Amid the frolic and festivity, the carnival has special spaces for the creatively and artistically inclined, providing people with an opportunity to not just view, but also participate in artistic endeavours. This year, the main theme of the carnival is "Dreamland", with students of the Government College of Art, Architecture and Home Science creating stalls in a village, and activities centered around dreams and characters from the fantasy land, including a mini rock garden.

Apart from dance and music performances, the carnival promises some creative options too. So you can head towards the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi stall, which promises an open platform for the public to sing and share poetry. Meanwhile, the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi is inspiring people to get their creative juices flowing with a literary quiz, a caption contest, slogan writing and couplet concoction. Contributions are also invited for forthcoming anthologies, so one can submit their short stories and poems at the venue.

Centre for Education and Voluntary Action (CEVA) that connects with and facilitates participation of people each year at the Chandigarh Carnival, is looking to make friends with people who love children, and initiate innovative ways to reach out to them. CEVA is presenting Kaavad performances at the carnival, apart from some shadow puppetry. Kaavad is an interesting oral tradition of storytelling, believed to be 400 years old. It is still alive in Rajasthan, where stories from the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana are told along with stories from the puranas, caste genealogies and folk traditions. Kaavad is the name of the medium used for this kind of storytelling. The Kaavad at the carnival looks like a box with a number of doors, with colourful illustrations decorating them. As each door opens, a new chapter in the story unfolds.

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