Gomathi Amma, 78, who sits at the entrance to the Chalai market in the city is surrounded by people.

“What is Onam without having the ‘sadya’ on plantain leaves,” she quips, as impatient buyers quickly selects a sheaf of leaves.

A day ahead of Thiruvonam, the city witnessed ‘Uthrada pachil’, with buyers thronging ‘Uthrada Chanda’ to make last-minute purchases.

Long queues were seen at Supplyco outlets and other government stores in the city, where items such as ghee, oil, vegetables, and rice were in demand. Readymade payasam mix also was a favourite.

At Maveli store

Standing in one such queue at a Maveli Store outlet inside Chalai, Dilsha said she was not worried that the store had no stock of oil. “I just came for some fresh curry leaves. New clothes were also purchased well ahead as there will be heavy rush now,” said Ms. Dilsha, who hails from Nanthancode.

The price tag of Rs.60 for 250 gm of banana chips failed to deter buyers. Kumar, who has put up a stall selling banana chips near Statue Junction, says the demand for chips will increase by evening and his stall already is low on stock.

Thiruonam also calls for new outfits and at tailoring shops one could see tailors working hard to deliver orders in time.

“We have 15 sets of salwar kameez that need to be delivered by 6 p.m. We cannot postpone the work, as they would want to wear the outfits tomorrow,” said Kabir of M.M. Tailors.

Though many had already purchased the Onakodi, people were eager to revisit shops to purchase the latest designs. “

Many want the latest design in Kerala sari and are also interested in buying traditional skirts for their children,” said a sales manager at a textile shop on M.G. Road. Even Selvaraj, a lottery seller, seemed happy. “People will definitely want to try their luck hoping that King Mahabali will shower blessings on them,” he said.

Keywords: Onamshopping

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The stores are packed September 11, 2013