A mela is a fair, and it’s one of my favorite events in Islamabad, especially when gift items, handicrafts, and souvenirs are going to be the items for sale. Besides carpets, Pakistan has a fun variety of handicraft items worth collecting or buying as presents for family and friends. That is why the annual Pakistan Day mela organized by our school is one of the events I look forward to all year. It is held every March, giving me a rich opportunity to shop for presents to bring home during our summer break. Not only that, our Pakistan Day celebration also features camel rides, performances by bhangra drummers and dancers, and yummy Pakistani food like somozas and pakoras.
This year’s celebration was different in two ways. First of all, my husband was out of the country with 20 students to attend the festival of choirs in Muscat, Oman. Second, I’ve been on sick leave for two weeks due to my tree pollen allergy and not having an ayah to look after our baby. But I still went to school, bringing baby J with me, who was dressed in his first shalwar kameez. I also signed him up for the fashion show, and had him wear a shirwani, the Pakistani wedding outfit. But poor baby got overstimulated and fell asleep when the fashion show started.