Rain is not a dampener this Deepavali season. Instead it has brought cheers all-round, say T. SARAVANAN and M.R. ARAVINDAN.
Business has gained momentum as Deepavali nears.
AFTER A gap of over three years, things are indeed looking up. If rain has brought cheers to all, the market is booming and people are all geared up to celebrate the festival of lights with extra dollops of enthusiasm.
Deepavali is the king of all festivals with its characteristic colour and charm. It is an occasion when nobody is left untouched by the all pervasive happy feeling.
Thefestival of grandeur is celebrated to rejoice the victory of good over the evil just the way incessant rains have conquered the previous seasons of drought. Nobody seems to mind the water and slush all around on city roads.
Rain is not a dampener this season. Rather what is predominantly visible are the happy faces and thronging crowds at glittering market places.
The celebrations have sort of doubled with two important festivals of Deepavali and Ramzan falling in the same month with less than a week separating the two. People are out willing to splurge and the traders' mood is upbeat.
Deepavali means different things to different people but what commonly connects the festival is purchase of new clothes, sweets, crackers or jewellery.
The purchasers cut across all economic class as it is evident from the hectic business on entire South Masi Street.
The wind of fortune appears to be blowing across the market this year and even a small time trader is generating good business. With festival discount sales in full swing, people are showing greater interest in variety purchase.
For the textile sector particularly, the trend is much better this year. "But we have to go a long way to reach the stage where we were during the early 90s. There is a shift from cut pieces to readymades because in this fast paced world the modern youth does not like to waste time and money and opts for T-shirts and jeans pants, which are readily available in the market," says H. Anis, a leading textile trader.
Realising the latest trends, even big companies with brand names have started introducing Ready To Stitch (RTS) dress materials.
The latest men's wear in RTS is apparently the engineered design, which has found the favour ofthe younger generation.
"Women are showing keen interest in buying the latest arrivals in the sarees section including the `Muqabla', `Day and Night' and `Spartel Print'. Women are also going for churidhar collection with RTS variety. Another textile trader Ashraf, however observes that public patronage is not really up to the mark. This year's price range for sarees varies from Rs.125 to Rs.300 in the wholesale market and Rs.150 to Rs.400 in the retail market.
Business as usual
The jewellery bazaar is doing business as usual. Of course, the sale of gold products is definitely up from last year's corresponding period. "Ours is an agriculture-based society and most people have invested in fields after the good rains this season," points out B.A.Ramesh, a leading jeweller.
But the merchants cannot afford to take matters lightly and have, therefore, come out with scores of latest designs.
"This year we have introduced `Siginity Stones', `Costing jewellery'," says Ramesh, further sharing that most of the fast moving jewellery are machine made varieties.
The `Princess cutting' stones is very popular with the public. So is the Pav and channel setting in different stones. With people mostly choosing lightweight items with sleek designs and neat finish, the Calcutta Silgiri work is drawing a good response and respect.
And so are the `Meena Gari', Hyderabad Ruby, Emerald and Tourmoline Stones.
For the sweet-toothed people, Deepavali ushers in even a greater variety. While at times, special sweets sell instantly, there is also an increase in the number of people opting for assorted varieties.
"With practically every sweet shop worth its name vying to get more customers, the latter have become more choosy. People now choose the sweet shop that suits their palate best," says B. Devendra Kumar, owner of popular chain of hotels.
Business done during festivals is much more than the remaining months of the year collectively.
Each company, each trader, tries to woo customers with attractive offers and packages during the season. Sweet stalls too have come out with gift packs with assorted sweet varieties.
But no Deepavali can be complete without crackers.
People are gradually taking to display of colours and much reduced levels of sound.
Even the crackers manufacturing units have reduced the decibel of their products and instead added more splendour to colours and the trajectory of flying cracker varieties.
"In the colour display, they mostly take items which burst in the air," says the representative of a leading fireworks industry from Sivakasi, who have pitched their tents in the Temple City and established exclusive cracker sales centres.
Not to be left behind, the fireworks industry has come out with a host of new models like `breakdance', `dancing dolphin', `china kit'. "The purchase catches fire only a week prior to the festival. People show a spending capacity of Rs.300 upward for crackers. Depending on the pocket power, people also buy the assorted crackers box as a gift. Generally people go for things costing between Rs.300- to 500 for packets, which contain sparklers and a variety of crackers. These packets are also available for Rs.50 to Rs.725 depending on the size and volume of things available. It is the textiles industry which is ruling the roost at present.
The consumer durable industry too chips in to boost the sale of all other products including the electronic items.
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