Festival of lights brings happiness to all

– Nivedita Ganguly
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Girls lighting the lamps to usher in the festival of lights in Visakhapatnam. — Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam
Girls lighting the lamps to usher in the festival of lights in Visakhapatnam. — Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

Deepavali has arrived in all its sound, fury and sparkle!

The D-day is finally here to illuminate everyone's face. For some it may be a time for family reunion, for some it may the time to splurge on vibrant apparels and mouth-watering sweets and for others it may mean high-sounding crackers- all symbolic of the happy occasion.

If pyrotechnics is one colourful manifestation of the festival, fostering a spirit of camaraderie through exchange of gifts and sweets is a quiet expression of the festive mood.

The devout visit temples to offer worship, apart from doing pujas at home and performing certain religious rites linked with the Full Moon day.

The not-so-orthodox ones visit their kith and kin to exchange pleasantries. Amidst all these, the ubiquitous multi-channel idiot box dishes out its own quota of a rich variety of entertainment with a wide choice of programmes to interested viewers all through the day.

Around the city, the shops have geared up to cash in on the festive mood. Markets are glittering with offers with buyers splurging on anything under the sun in preparation for the festivities. Over the years traditional markets selling utensils and clothes, swanky malls vending cars, two-wheelers, ornaments and modern gadgets including TVs, refrigerator and cell phones, have changed the idea of shoppers and their shopping pattern.

This is a time when shopping is a necessity and also considered auspicious and the marriage season get into full swing. This period of optimum business activity commences from ‘Navratri' and stretches past Christmas to the New Year. A line-up of festivals starting from Dasara, Deepavali, Eid-ul-Fitr and finally Christmas add to the gaiety amid the innumerable weddings.

Sending cash registers ringing, shoppers can be seen with entire family and children in tow. To cash in on the craze, the shopkeepers are luring customers with “special discounts” and “sales” and shopping festivals to add to the frenzy. Clearly this is one season of revelry and merriment no one wants to miss out on. A touch of ethnic stuff, be it to the wardrobe or the interiors, seems to top the list of the ardent shoppers this festive season. This is the time to give a complete makeover to your homes.

There are on display a medley of commodities including beautiful deepams of various sizes and shapes, puja thalis with colourful work on them, metal bells, statutes of Ganesha and Lakshmi, both in clay and metal, trinkets of different hues to decorate your home or work place for the occasion. The concept of buying and gifting silver artefacts is also catching up mainly because it is considered auspicious, and not everyone can afford gold items. Major jewellery houses have come out with attractive schemes to woo the customers.

Freebies, discounts and scratch cards, and the big prizes that go with them seem to be driving the shopping frenzy this festive season. And this year's Diwali is simply an explosion. Corporate giants, be it automobiles, consumer durables, IT, finance, real estate or apparels almost everything appeals to the instincts of the people. With competition heating up, companies seem to have gone for the strategy of driving the sales-volume up by all means.

– Nivedita Ganguly



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