Friday, February 15, 2008

Aligarh Numaish

This is my tribute to the Great Aligarian Numaish. I regret not being able to attend this grand carnival of Aligarh for the ninth consecutive year in succession.
The Rajakiya Agriculture and Industrial Exhibition, Aligarh better known as Aligarh Numaish, is one of the priceless memories Aligarians carry in their hearts. This event has been timeless in its own way because the fun experienced by aligarians of my father's time was the same as what I did.
Every year, this exhibition is held at a particular time of the year (26th Jan - 15th Feb). This is the time all aligarians wait and plan for, with passionate fervor. The families wait for the numaish for buying a lot of fancy stuff while the students of AMU have their own fancies. ;-)

There were some people who could boast of 100 percent attendance at the Numaish, meaning they didn't miss even a single day. Some were not so regular so they visited on alternate days. The most boring ones waited for the Exhibition Dinner sponsored by the University. When the day same, even these ‘most’ boring ones were seen dressed up in their finest suits, sherwanis and blazers as if they were about to attend a wedding reception. The age told AMU tradition has been to walk all the way to Numaish ground (That’s what we call the exhibition ground, precisely). Now that, some Halls (read hostels) are constructed really far away from the Numaish ground so people ride their bicycles or drive down in today’s context.

AMU Proctorial Team
Now, this exhibition was the time when these guys really got to know or flaunt their importance. I remember seeing a band of Black Sherwani clad young and dashing boys moving around in a group. They used to ask all AMU resident students to leave the exhibition ground by sharp 10:00 PM (which hardly ever happened). In case of any Bhasad (read crisis), these heroes of AMU Proctorial Team flung into action just like we have bouncers in discotheques and pubs. Anyways, it was always considered a worth-taking-pride job as it sometimes involved escorting the girls from Abdullah.

Abdullah Hall Visit
The day when all the glitterati were supposed to have descended upon the precincts of the grand Exhibition ‘darbar’. Too much!!!! Right?
Yes, that’s how the response has always been to Abdullah Hall visit to Exhibition for their official dinner. Speculations were made for the day when this would happen. The Provost and wardens of Abdullah Hall kept mum about the day. One evening, the girls would be asked to get ready and march towards the fleet of buses waiting to carry them to the place where all eyes are waiting for them.

Well, going into the history, this happened for the last time in 1994, which was my debut visit to the Numaish. Because of unexpected rains, it became unmanageable and the authorities decided to repent and never bring all the girls together. That spoilsport rain!!!! But, anyways I was lucky to be there ;-) Then onwards, it was one hostel of Abdullah at one time, until I was in AMU.

Jhanda Hotel and Nazeer Hotel
These are the names of two restaurants which participate in the numaish every year. The Halwa-Paratha and Tea at these joints is out-of-the-world. During the Numaish days, all the B’day treats, and the bets are settled for this Halwa-Paratha. Another specialty of these joints happens to be the cabins meant for families. They offer a nice place to meet aligarian cousins. Do we need elaboration here?

Saree suhag – saree suhag
While the students used to enjoy looking more at people than at the items meant for numaish, the 3-rupee softy ice-cream seller was making a fortune out of it. The popcorn seller was not far behind though. Amidst all this, one could hear the advertisements aired on the numaish radio: Saree suhag – saree suhag, mere hathon mein nau nau choodiyan hain…” These ads would come to a halt abruptly and the announcer would say: ek ladka jiska naam sonu hai aur usne laal kameez aur neeli nekar pehni hui hai, numaish mein kho gaya hai, jis kisi ko miley wo usey control room pahucha dey.. Ting Tong”

The Fountain (Phawwara)
A common meeting place in the exhibition ground. If you can’t find someone who is lost in the crowd, wait for him at the Phawwara or rather request the control room guys to make an announcement for him to find you at the Phawwara.

The Assembly of Poets (Mushaira)
Every year, a grand mushaira is organized and the most renowned poets from all parts of country are invited. It is something very enticing for all Urdu lovers and most of the Aligs were such that they were ready to do anything for a seat in the auditorium.

Gadbad jhala
Who wouldn’t remember stepping into this complex and getting lost in the noise and commotion of people and loudspeakers? The Giant Wheel et al…

The Great Indian Variety Show!
Lastly, the adventure part!!!
Sadly, I never had the courage to see that part of the world. As it was something to be SEEN, therefore, the lesser said about it, the better.

Hope this took you through a nice roller costar ride down the memory lane. If you liked it, don’t hesitate in leaving a comment on the blog or dropping a line at

~ Qais

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Blogger Sharjeel said...

A really nostalgic description indeed!! Wait for my detailed comment when I read and enjoy it once again as soon as I get some leisure time :-)

Friday, February 15, 2008 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger riz said...

Qais bhai,
Only one word to say for that lovely narration of yours, transporting us back to the serene picturesque & old-world charm of the AMU that we all got to know and lovingly cherish in our heart of hearts ...Thanks, buddy.


Friday, February 15, 2008 6:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Asar,
it was so nice to go through Numaish,despite so near to Aligarh it has been more then 13 years i haven't been there.
Best Wishes

Saturday, February 16, 2008 8:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It really nostalgic and nice.I really enjoyed it thoroughly.Expecting sharjeel will complete the one missing link.I hope all of u get it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008 12:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful, enjoyed the trip down the memory lane. sabse zyada hansi sari suhag ke gaane par aayi aur sath mein khoye bacche ka annoucement. So very true:):):) Well, when i went to numaaish for the first time from Abdullah, we got this coupon for dinner in one of the hotel (jhanda/nazeer, can't remember exactly which one)jismein likha tha 50 gm korma, 75gm halwa, 80 gm parantha, 2 seekh kabab, 1 naan and 1 sheermal. and we were so upset ki is 40gm -50 gm mein kahi bhookhe na reh jaaye :) that was the only worry we had when we went for the first time. But believe me it so much ki we packed it n brought some back with us as well.

Saturday, February 16, 2008 5:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for Aligarh Nama and thanks to Qais Bhai to bring back our sweet memories. Kindly post few more pictures of Numais if you have..

With Best Wishes and Regards

Mohammed Ayub Qureshi
1989-1992 (B.Com. Hons)
Habib Hall

Sunday, February 17, 2008 2:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The movement when i was in aligarh and i used to to numaish with my friends i can't forget really it is an unforgettable movement. i memorise usually.definately i will visit again and again.

Wasim Gilani

Sunday, February 17, 2008 2:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great!!!! Thanks Qais...I remember, how once we both had to flee the Exhibition too!!;))


Sunday, February 17, 2008 6:01:00 PM  
Blogger Faraz Izhar said...

Kudos Qais.
Wonderful to see you back in action. And with a subject which is so dear to every Alig! I could almost feel that cool breeze and that mixed smell of pop-corn and bhelpuri..not to mention some of the unique trade names like "seedhay chacha, tedhey mama" (that toy shop) and of course the Gokulkesh Churan stall with loads of churan samples as freebies..

Keep up the good work!

Sunday, February 17, 2008 6:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually though that this time I gonna miss Numaish.......But I think this is not the case after going thru this article......nice stuff!!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008 6:51:00 PM  
Blogger quadir said...

its really amazing,and felt that i m walking in conjusted lanes of numaish ground.Last year we were preparing for IIT's & decided ki is saal numaish nahin jayenge but when the time of numaish came ,i went for 18 times.
afsos abdullah hall ki visit kabhi nahin dekh saka.
Abdul Quadir

Sunday, February 17, 2008 9:11:00 PM  
Blogger Javed F said...

Hain aur bhi duniya mein blogger bahut acche...

Kehte hai per ki Qais ka hai andaz-e-bayaan kuch aur...

Great always!


Monday, February 18, 2008 2:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Qais,

Thank you very much for such a good job.
I really recalled my days during Numaish and ofcourse full paltan (friends)and what a great time we all had. I remember one incident, as a daily routine we 6 friends on two scooters were going to numaish and near railway crossing, we saw one rickshaw carrying a whole family of 7/8 members and a very -2 big ballon in the center. ishtiaq abruptly commented as usual "Pahele balloon baithega" and u imagine it was so jokingly said that i can't write here and we all burst into laughter. Since then whenever we would hire a rickshaw and if thgere is some skirmish in sitting on the center, someone will exclaim "PAHLE BALLOON BAITHEGA"


Monday, February 18, 2008 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Athar said...

dear qais bhai,
ASAK,this blog of yours is simply fantastic.I have been a student of AMU from Minto Circle till my M.Tech.Your blogs on aligarh numaish and bhasad are awesome.
Regarding the titles given..i guess nothing can match the tiles given to the teachers of Minto Circle.The point to note is that each and every teacher there had a title!!

Monday, February 18, 2008 1:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Athar said...

i am still in aligarh and the numaish is on these days...if u like i can send you some pix from it.

Monday, February 18, 2008 1:19:00 PM  
Anonymous UrooJ said...

OMG !! Nostalgic write up.Thanks for bringing back all those memories.Enjoyed seeing these pics alot.

Monday, February 18, 2008 1:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really felt very nice hearing something about Aligarh Numaish. This is event is unmatchable to any other even in the world.

I found good write ups on aligarh numaish and surprised to know that nowbody wrote about one particular part of numaish and that is HAYE HAYE KA BAZAAR. May be you people will start laughing.

Actually what I feel that our district administration should display a big sign board at the entrance of this Haye Haye ka Baazar and it should clearly mentioned " AREA RESTRICTED TO SHAREEF LADIES" IN HINDI " YE CHETRA SHAREEF MAHILAON KE LIYE WARJIT HAI".

M.Sajjad Ali

Monday, February 18, 2008 2:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's an excellent description of the Numaish...and I, very well agree with ur denial of going to see Variety all the goers never agree in public weather they r regulars or not..
Well that is part of the game as well.

Excellent Description.

Monday, February 18, 2008 2:48:00 PM  
Blogger hidayatullah said...

Asak Qais Bhai,
i just happen to be there in numaish last weekend. and let me tell you nothing has changed from jhanda hotel to saree suhag. even we kept our rendezvous at fawwara only :), and had halwa paratha and tea at jhanda hotel... all in all it was a refreshing journey down the memory lane.. and when i saw your blog just thought of mentioning it..and please do write more often.. its a treat to read..

Hidayatullah Tamanna

Monday, February 18, 2008 3:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Qais Sb.,

This blog on Aligarh Numaish is amazing. It reminded me of the old memories. I just cant forget Aligarh Numaish because i met my first crush here only. Aligarh Numaish just rocks!

Samiullah Khan
MCA AMU 2001

Monday, February 18, 2008 4:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi Qais,ASAK
I am very happy to see this
'Qais Nama' arranged by U in a good way that reminds us the grat Exhibition.
Any way great effort.
Dr.Ismaeel Khan
MH HALL (1989-1998)

Monday, February 18, 2008 7:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Qais, Assalamoalaikum,
Nice to read this exciting detail about the numaish. Yaar Economics mein BA kiya to itna achcha likhte ho agar Eng ya journalism mein kiya hota to kya hota....
Anyways nice write up. I can proudly say that you are a good friend of mine.
Now my turn to add to the details. I dont know if I am fortunate or not to have never attended a dancy party in numaish. I used to hear what other guys used to describe about it. But I just never had a chance to visit any. Alot of people remember the numaish dinner at Jhanda or nazeer but how many used to look into the dues bill to see how much did they paid for this delicacy. Numaish dinner was a tool of politics too. I remember once, guys on the behest of some senior from Hadi Hasan hall, of which I was a resident, boycotted the numaish dinner. They were protesting against the provost's decision not to give that senior a post in the hall. All they did was to go to the hotel and turn down some casseroles with qorma. No dinner was served. But when I went to clear my yearly dues I was shocked to see that some 75 Rs was added to the dues as the charges for numaish dinner. That was quite a sum that time (some 10 years back) considering that we paid 225 for one month of diet to the dining hall. Although the dinner was not served, the hotel was paid for the loss and the sum credited to the student's account.
Another incident I would like to relate to is regarding the Abdullah hall visit to numaish. Once a good friend of mine managed to become a proctorial monitor (PM) in numaish and some how got to know that girls from Abdullah are coming to visit numaish for dinner one evening. That was quite a chance. All of us gathered with our Proctorial monitor friend, who in turn put on a decent, crisp black sherwani, and waited near the bus parking area for the bus to arrive. After some waiting the Abdullah bus arrived. Our PM friend rushed to greet the ladies. It was already dark and we could not see who was inside. The door opened. We were so excited as if some "swayamwar" was going to take place and we were the grooms. One old lady stepped out, then another, then another. We thought to ourselves that girls are good mannered and letting their teachers get down first. One by one the old ladies got down but no girls!!!!!! Yahan tak ke bus khali ho gayi aur ek bhi ladki nahin nazar aayi. Kya bataoon....aisi khilli udi.... That was a last time when we ever looked forward to Abdullah visit to numaish.
Another very interesting thing which was a part of Numaish was the number of lucky draws taking place. Every third shop has some thing to it the panjon stall, capstan cigarettes....u buy something and put ur hand in a box full of coloured marbles or tokens and draw one.....u get a gift corresponding to the colour of the marble.
And who can forget those key chains where u can get ur name plus somebody else name (winking) engraved. That was big hit those days.
Then there was what we called the Hullar Bazaar. All the magic shows, maut ka kuan, giant wheels. All the shows had a girl with some 2 kilos of makeup on her face and a clown dancing to lure people to their show. There was such a great rush at that place as if all of india's population has concentrated there. You could see some people testing their firing skills with airguns and those hand power testing machines. I would like to elaborate more on latter. They came in 2 versions. In one u hand to pull the handle hard and see what the meter shows. I remember the top reading was 1000 and it corresponded to a HERO. The other version was ball hanging from a chain and you had to hit the ball hard enough so that the chain pulled the needle to some reading. This was an interesting place where people used to show all actions of turning and twisting their hands before hitting the ball. Their arm movements could easily put all the Jackie Chans and Bruce Lees of this world to shame.
Well!!!!!!!!! Those old days..... These are some things which I do remember at the moment. Hope others will add more.
Allah Hafiz

Thursday, February 21, 2008 5:24:00 PM  
Blogger Athar said...

dear aligarians,
please find posted the link to some of the photos taken from aligarh numaish 2008. hope you will like it and it will surely refresh some nice memories

Sunday, February 24, 2008 11:48:00 PM  
Blogger Qais said...

Hello Everyone,

Thanks so much for your motivating comments. As I have said this many times before, your comments serve as fuel for my writing abilities. I thank each one of you who visited this blog, spent some time reliving your time at AMU and went ahead to leave a comment on the blog or my email address.

I would especially thank the following poeple to add more colors to this post:
My first hand reviewers: Sharjeel, Rizal, Razi, Shakil, Fakhir and Kashif
Arshad saheb for his hilarious anecdote "PAHLE BALLOON BAITHEGA"
Faraz Izhar for motivating me to write again...
Athar for sharing his pictures
Urooj, Quadir, Sajjad Ali saheb for their comments
Saba apa for sharing her experiences
Javed Fazal for being so generous in his praise for the work
Anonymous PINTO for his naughty comment
Hidayatullah Tamanna for latest and live updates from Numaish Ground
Misbah, for his comment as big and good as the post itself.

Monday, February 25, 2008 3:14:00 PM  
Blogger Qais said...

Comment received on e-mail from Janab M. M. Sufyan Beg saheb
, Aligarh “Numaish” (My version):,

Aligarh exhibition is good! This happens to be the unanimous verdict of every resident of Aligarh, whether temporary or permanent. If you do not agree with this verdict, you do not quite belong here. The basic reason behind this verdict is also unique in that one does not have any better entertainment here to go for! Other reasons vary from person to person. A few highlights are enumerated below.
· Some like it for its sheer liveliness.
· Others prefer it for its lighting arrangements and blaring sounds.
· The domestic kinds find it best for shopping, towards the end though.
· Presence of a mosque in the heart of the Numaish makes it easy to combine Deen and Duniya.
· Some find this Numaish synonymous with “Halwa-Paratha”.
· Others love it for the Tikkis and Chaat.
· The above category is very likely to love Bhel-Puri too.
· Of late, there are also holes that are catching up much faster than the fast food they supply.
· Management gurus who want their trainees to "Sell Ice to Eskimos",
better tell them to learn from the softy shops in this winter numaish.
· Further, if you wish to purchase something that would otherwise cost lesser but still get you more than satisfied, better visit “Har-Maal-Ek-Daam” shop.
· The pessimistic kind does not find it any better than seeing people coming from the opposite direction in the adjacent lane.
· The best place to get confused is to stand between the Jhanda Hotel and the Benazir Hotel and listen to the vocal invitations of their thorough sales representatives.
· I still wonder why do the newspapers have the “Lost-and-Find” column in their newspapers, why don’t they simply direct people to reach “Fawwara” for all such remedies.
· The boys prefer it for eyeing the girls while the girls test the endurance of boys with their thick layers of make-up.
· They say that marriages are made in the heavens, dare we say they are made in our Numaish instead! Hence it is proved that the Numaish is no less than the heavens.
· As one of my friends rightly puts it, “In the good old college days, we all used to visit Numaish for all different and yet same reasons!”
· Circus is adorable because in that the animals prove to be more sensible than quite a few of us, isn’t it.
· Hullar Bazaar? shshshshshsh. Who knows one of the proctorial
monitors may be around in plain clothes, enjoying the show himself though!
· We do have something for the adventurous ones too. Crossing the railway tracks when the gates are closed. How can you think of entering the heavens without crossing the Pule Siraat?
· Look how patriotic we are; we celebrate our Republic Day in a grand fashion by declaring open the great Aligarh Numaish.
· History has proved that this happens to be one of the most awaited events of the globe because the wait for the next Numaish starts the day it ends for the current year.
· This highlight capsule would never be complete until we mention that even the honorable Vice Chancellor of this largest residential university loves this Numaish like anything, because it proves to be the best reason for the students to come back from their homes after the winter vacations.

M. M. Sufyan Beg
B. Sc. Engg. (AMU-1992), M.Tech. (IIT Kanpur), Ph.D. (IIT Delhi)
Professor, Department of Computer Engineering, J. M. I., New Delhi

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 2:41:00 PM  
Blogger Bimal Khemani said...


Friday, February 06, 2009 1:46:00 PM  
Blogger Neha said...

Great and a very personalised note indeed! has proved to be of great help as I'm doin my College project on Aligarh City. Never been to Aligarh but would surely try for the next year for the mela and halwa paratha.
hav deisgned a logo for Aligarh City. would like to Share. let me know if thats possible.
Thanks a lot!

Saturday, August 15, 2009 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger Qais said...

Thanks for leaving the comment, Neha. You, certainly, can share the logo with me on

Sunday, August 16, 2009 12:03:00 AM  
Blogger Nitin said...

yaar mujhe to pata hi nahi thai ki hamra aligarh bhi itnaa auch hai per mai yee zaror kahonga ki ye hamri jaan hai wakaiy kabhi aligarh aoo tu pata chlta hai ki ham apne ghar per hai thanx all gayes

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 5:30:00 PM  
Anonymous shadab khan said...

Salaam Alaikum Qais bhai,
Its me again. Great!!! Loved it. I have been there many times. How about doing documentary on the NUMAISH of Aligarh. I mean I liked your description of it, why dont you give me some research amterial and I can get a few people to help you with the same. Then we can probably do a docu on it and try putting it on some channel like NGC or discovery as part of INDIA Coverage. I loved the description though. the last time I went there was when I was 15 or 16 years old, now I am 41.
do write back. you have my e mail address.
here it is just in case

Wednesday, February 03, 2010 5:42:00 AM  
Blogger khanazam said...

really heart touching....tears came out of my eyes as dis is ma last year here at AMU....really going to miss dis paradise a lot....... I Love my AMU

Sunday, June 26, 2011 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Sonu Chaudhary said...


Tuesday, July 19, 2011 5:09:00 PM  
Blogger Sonu Chaudhary said...


Tuesday, July 19, 2011 5:10:00 PM  
Blogger naiyla said...

i want group photograph of proctorial team during 1994,1995,,1996,1997.if someone have plz. Send Naiyla Abbasi B.Sc. @(hons.)AMU aligarh 1994 batch

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 2:17:00 AM  
Anonymous I.A.Farooqi said...

I am eighty years old now but this narration of Aligarh numaesh brought the nostalgia in me of the days I spent there from 1947 to 1956 with two years break for my M.Sc at Lucknow. Well done. Keep it up.

Monday, June 11, 2012 4:44:00 PM  
Blogger Qais said...

Janab I.A.Farooqi saheb! Salam alaikum

I feel elated to read your comments and know that you liked the blog. Thanks for sparing time to read my blog and appreciating it. Request for duaa...


Tuesday, June 12, 2012 12:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can any one recall about those ghazals played in numaish.specially at midnight.

Saturday, June 15, 2013 1:28:00 AM  

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