KARACHI: With its safe, friendly, pleasant and relaxing atmosphere, the much-awaited three-day Dawn All About Lifestyles exhibition provided plenty of opportunities for kids’ entertainment as it opened on Friday at the Expo Centre.
A young couple talking about their two-year-old son shared with Dawn, “After frantically searching for him for about an hour we just found him playing happily with balloons at a stall here. He just wandered off on his own while we were bargaining at a stall having electrical appliances. While we were going out of our minds searching for him, our son was enjoying himself so much he dint even notice he was lost.”
Another child, three-year-old Safa entered one of the halls with happy figures painted on both her cheeks. She ended up serving as an advertisement model for other children who wanted their faces painted as well. When approached, Safa’s mother directed mothers of other children to the Young World Pavilion in Hall-4 where face painting was being done free of charge.
A whole lot of other fun activities also awaited little ones in the form of air castles, slides and balloons.
For slightly older children, there were the lucky draws and games to take part in with plenty of exciting gifts to offer. A group of young ladies where busy taking out paper cups from the top of a pile to put them back under the pile in 20 seconds at a food company’s stall. A few older children were found sketching away at a refrigerator company’s stall. The best sketches earned them entry into a lucky draw for a brand-new cell phone. At a shampoo stall, young fair maidens became eligible for prizes.
Meanwhile, when mothers got a chance to take a breather from their children’s requests they headed to shops with hand-embroidered suits. “We are doing great business,” said Shazia Waseem, who runs her embroidered-suits business from her home near Baitul Mukarram mosque. “Our price range for suits is from Rs800 to Rs4,000 and we sell on wholesale rates.
Most of our Rs1,000 suits have been sold out and only from about 3 pm on the first day. I am really looking forward to the sales picking up even more in the next couple of days.”
Sambhu, who had come to Karachi from Thar to display and sell his handicrafts, was also happy to inform that he had sold plenty of traditional Sindhi suits with glasswork, besides cushion covers and wall hangings.
At the Books & Authors Pavilion, Tahir Mahmood of Tawakkal Academy said that he hadn’t seen much sales in the books department. But he said that he was hopeful of doing better business in the next two days. “Book sales usually take time to pick up and as today (Friday) was a working day as well,” he smiled hopefully. “I am hoping to see some book lovers tomorrow and the day after.”
At Urdu Virsa, Tehseen Fatima said that she had sold several books on Dr Allama Iqbal and some by Raza Ali Abidi. “Parents coming to our stall are also interested in children’s story books, particularly in Urdu,” she said.
The Dawn’s All About Lifestyles supplement took no time in reaching the end of the newspaper pile it was distributed with.
The crowd seemed to be evenly scattered over the five halls with stall dealing in furniture, foam, paints, electric appliances, cooking oil, mineral water, packaged food, juices, stitched clothes, imitation jewellery, perfumes, toiletries, and others. Some really excited dear old ladies were screaming to members of their families over the crowd while hurrying from hall to hall, and stall to stall with tasteful background music by the City FM89.
At the exit, one could see mothers holding on to their children’s balloons as they headed back to their cars while the little ones were fast asleep in their fathers’ arms.
The All About Lifestyles exhibition will continue till Sunday. A German Shepherd Dog Show would be held on Saturday while the All Breed Championship Dog Show on Sunday. Entry is free of charge and is for families only.