This time of the year is for cakes!

It is the time of the year when the annual Nilgiris Cake Show is on and like always I found it difficult to give this event a miss. For the last seven years I have somehow managed to squeeze in a visit to the show. This year, I almost missed seeing the sugary beauties. My first visit to the St Joseph Indian High School Auditorium, the venue of the cake exhibition, on 25 December ended in disappointment as I had to do a U-turn at the venue because of the large Christmas crowd. There were visitors at every nook and corner of the ground and near the ticket counters. It would have been extremely foolish on my part if I decided to get lost in the sea of humanity. I thought a wiser move would be to go to a handicraft fair which I so badly wanted to visit.

The cake extravaganza was on till the 1st of January. The period between Christmas and New Year offered me no free time at all and I was wondering if I could go to the show at all. Another thought that played in my mind was whether I should go at all as I had already gone all the way to St Joseph’s once. Finally, I decided to go at the 11th hour on the last day of the exhibition. I reached the venue at around 5.30pm. Luckily, the crowd was not as big as the one that I saw on Christmas day.

Unlike the last two editions of the cake fair, I did not notice any bouncers and there were very few security men. Maybe, it was the timing. As the exhibition was drawing to an end perhaps the organisers decided to do away with the bouncers. It was a blessing in disguise as bouncers would have made my photography experience a little difficult.

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Photographing the prime attraction of the show, a replica of the Red Fort, proved to be tricky as there were a lot of selfie enthusiasts hovering around and trying out myriad poses and then there were people taking group photographs or photographs of their partners. I had to strain my legs and stand on my toes to get a picture.

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Adjacent to the Red Fort was another equally eye-catching cake, this one a multi-staired wedding cake with intricate work. All these cakes are the creations of students of the Institute of Baking and Cake Art.

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The next cake in the row was a cute one depicting a group of penguins.

I then moved on to check out the smaller cakes.

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This one of a genie (Aladdin’s genie) looked enchanting and straight out from a story of the Arabian Nights.

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Next was a colourful wedding cake.

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IMG_7430A cake avatar of a pagoda looked pretty followed by an equally pretty one of a fairy.

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A white wedding cake accentuated by sugary fish made for a lovely picture.

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This sewing machine looked so real!

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A cake version of a natural disaster looked interesting.

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The Buddha in his cake form looked so serene.

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In contrast to the Buddha, a Scorpio cake looked quite scary. I wonder if anyone would have the guts to sink their teeth into this one.

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To erase any thoughts of fear created by the Scorpio cake were a happy clown and a towering snowman looking so endearing with his red muffler.

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The Moana Wave cake showing an islander looked cute.

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A giant ribbon cake looked so yummy and so did the Easter Bunny.

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The dining table with sugary delights looked so inviting.

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A cake showing the newlywed Bollywood couple Deepika and Ranvir looked hilarious. Deepika in her cake form looked quite matronly.

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A cake of Christ the Redeemer looked so perfect.

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I forgot to check out what this cake was all about.

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A wedding cake with large floral motifs looked stunning.

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This group of cute insects looked adorable and so did another with Santas.

After drooling over the cakes, I walked into the adjoining space which was host to a consumer fair. After a quick walk through the fair I headed to the food stalls and settled down with some spicy chaat and a crispy Delhi papad with a sprinkling of chilli powder. With that I ended my visit to the cake show on a spicy note.

 

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Lal Bagh Flower Show – Jan 2015

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A mammoth floral replica of Delhi’s Red Fort greets visitors at this year’s Republic Day Flower Show at Lal Bagh. Made with more than 3 lakh roses and standing 28 feet high, the floral re-creation of the famous monument has several thousands of visitors thronging to the Glass House, the venue of the show. In spite of it being a Tuesday, I was quite taken aback seeing the crowds. Luckily, there was enough room to take pictures. Close to the Red Fort is an attractive floral replica of the India Gate.

Unlike in previous editions of the show that I have been to, at this edition the flowers look jaded. Petals of many seem to have either fallen off or got plucked. A lot of petals have holes possibly because of a pest attack. There are a variety of flowers. The emphasis this time seems to be on the smaller flowers like phlox, heliotropium, and cineraria. There are lots of them.

Roses are few and some of them have lost a lot of petals. The dahlias were conspicuous by their absence.

Other attractions at the show are a smaller version of the Statue of Liberty and Lady Justice. The white statues though not made from flowers stand out with the Red Fort in the background and the multitude of colourful flower beds. The idea of having the Statue of Liberty at the show is to commemorate the visit of US Prez Barack Obama at the Republic Day celebrations in the capital.

The selfie craze seems to have taken this edition of the flower show by storm especially with youngsters. Gangs of collegians were having a whale of a time striking a plethora of poses. A lot of visitors were having group photos taken too though umpteen obstructions (with visitors constantly walking into the frame) were driving photographers to their wits’ end.

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A lot of children were seen tampering with flowers and breaking stems much to the dismay of parents and bystanders. The cops as usual were having a tough time managing the crowds and shooing off the little brats.

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The flower show extends beyond the Glass House. The idea of vertical gardens seems to be catching on. There is one on the way to the Glass House. The Band Stand looks vibrant with floral replicas of a Veena, Guitar, Piano, Ice Cream, and Mridangams adding to the colour of the surroundings.

After an hour at the Glass House and another quarter near the Band Stand I headed to the stalls for a round of window shopping. There are numerous stalls selling anything from seeds to plants to gardening equipment to jute bags, cane baskets and more. The smaller plants seemed to be vanishing fast not surprising since they are easy to carry. At one end of the stalls, a mini horticulture exhibition is turning out to be a learning experience for many.

It feels good being at Lal Bagh especially during the flower shows. Ample number of benches make your experience that much more better. After resting my weary feet on one of the benches it was time to head off. It won’t be long before I come back here again because February is blooming time for a lot of trees 🙂 . I just can’t wait!

The Flower Show is on till 26 January.