Jet fountains, twinkle stars, fire pencils, surveyor rockets, bullet firecrackers, disco clash — all names of what makes the festival of lights exciting: firecrackers.
Even though the frequent showers have dampened sales of firecrackers in the city, stalls have not shied away from introducing new varieties to entice customers, who appear to want fresh thrills every year.
Panorama, a spectacular banger containing 500 shots in multicolour, priced at around Rs. 10,000 is the season's rock star. Another new entrant is the gudiya, a cousin of the ubiquitous flowerpot from Haryana, which comes in different sizes and colours. Attractively named Mini Pearl, Jasmine, Golden, Galaxy and Ashrafi, these are priced between Rs. 300 and Rs. 800.
“Apart from that, we are selling 200-centimetre long sparklers which will be a feast for the eyes,” said Anush R., a retailer. “They can go on for five or seven minutes. Most people are asking for smokeless, fancy items like sky shots,” he added.
Indian over Chinese
“There is lesser demand for Chinese crackers this year as they are more expensive than Indian,” said Dandapani, another retailer.
As always, gift boxes with 31 types of crackers are in huge demand. “Lots of buyers are choosing gift boxes, which have a variety of crackers and are economical,” said shopkeeper Venkatesh.
He said there are gift boxes catering to the needs and budget of the costumer in the price range of Rs. 200 to Rs. 500.
Shreyas Jangiri, who was seen shopping in Malleswaram said, “I prefer the gift boxes as there is everything in them and I don't have to go through the trouble of choosing crackers at the shop.”
Awareness on safety seems to be on the rise too, as many are opting for visual treats rather than aural torture. “I live in an area where there are children and senior citizens. So I've decided to burst crackers which make less noise,” said Rajashekhar M. from J.P. Nagar.
The current rock star is Panorama, a spectacular banger containing 500 shots, priced at a cool 10K