Looking for some novelty in raincoats, this reporter enters a wholesale and a retail store near Central Market. The salesperson, being a keen observer, quickly understands that I need to cover my backpack when it rains.

“This will be good for you,” he says, and opens the Velcro strip on the back of the coat. “You can wear this and safely carry your laptop or other articles in the backpack.” The raincoat that comes with waterproof trousers is priced at Rs. 700. “This is a wholesale price,” he insists.

This raincoat is among one of the varieties available at this store priced between Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,200. While the cheaper raincoats are plain, ones priced above Rs. 700 come with extra covering to prevent seepage of water inside. “We cannot guarantee the durability of the covering. It all depends on the way you use,” the shop keeper cautions. He also goes on to show some raincoats for women and children priced between Rs. 300 and Rs. 700. The ones for children have additional layer to keep them warm. A variety for women covering head-to-toe comes with a waist belt.

Add some glitter

The shops in Hampankatta display a variety of umbrellas as well. Perhaps the newer variety is one that makes carrying the umbrella easier, like you carry your badminton racquet, zipped in a case. It is priced between Rs. 250 and Rs. 300. These umbrellas come with buttons that are projected a bit to make it easy for people to open it.

The most preferred ones are the crook-handle umbrella or grandfather’s umbrellas. But they are no longer traditional or plain black. They come in all colours, in transparent handles, and frills on the outline. They are priced between Rs. 300 and Rs. 400. “This in an imported one and I guarantee you about the material,” says a shopkeeper in the complex opposite to Central Market. He shows an umbrella with a white silky cloth with glitter.

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