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Wednesday, Oct 09, 2002

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Big city, bright lights

The 100-odd jewellery outlets in the Basheerbagh-Abids stretch are chock-a-block with people for the festive season.

GO FOR GOLD: Business is brisk for the festive season. - Photos: Mohd Yousuf

THE SCORPION'S coinage of a `big city, bright light' condition is typified here. Bright may be an understatement at the Basheerbagh-Abids stretch, which houses the maximum number of jewellery outlets in the twin cities. The radiance from the neon lights surely outshines brightness!

A casual stroll around the three kilometre-long stretch, from Basheerbagh to Abids, after sundown is enough to know why Hyderabad has been sobriqueted as the `City of Pearls'. It is here that not less than a hundred shops do brisk business in the area by selling gold jewellery, diamonds, pearls, semi-precious stones et al, from morn till night.

"Dasara is special for Hyderabad. And the city just needs an occasion to shop. Customers even queue outside the doors during the season,," says the manager of M.S Satyanarayana and Sons - - one of the largest and oldest jewellery outlet in the area. Just beside, is M. Bajranglal and Sons - dealing in exquisite gold and silver jewellery.

In fact, the Basheerbagh-Abids stretch was said to have been the richest business areas in the twin-cities since the last four decades of existence of the jewellery shops; where daily sale proceeds reaching more than a couple of lakhs, is very "normal and routine". "During festival spells, the sale is even higher," says P. Rammoorthy of Lakshmi Jewellers, a recently opened upmarket outlet, very popular with the younger generation because of its contemporary products.Adding that Nakshatra's classic seven-stone line and the extremely fashionable high-end solitaire collection are currently selling like hotcakes, he says, "Affordability has increased now and gold and diamond are no longer a domain of the rich. Because of the increase in demand, business has gone up considerably, over the last few years."

Doing business in the area for more than a decade, Suraj Bhan's outlet, however, remains the singular most sought-after as it is claimed that the Government of India certifies most of its items for purity.

GOLD RUSH: The Basheerbagh-Abids stretch houses the maximum number of jewellery outlets.

Says Umesh Padhwa of Ratna Jewellers, - - another popular outlet in Abids, "This season we have better gold collections than ever with a lot of international styling and designs."

So, be a part of the gold rush. Check out the glitz of the outlets here at the Basheerbagh-Abids stretch and gleam away in the glitter of gold to bask in the forthcoming festivities.

S. C.

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