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Garments, eatables… all in an instant

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Ready-made: Customers buy packed sweets and savouries at a store in Adyar in Chennai, ahead of Deepavali. —
Ready-made: Customers buy packed sweets and savouries at a store in Adyar in Chennai, ahead of Deepavali. —

Deepa H Ramakrishnan

People prefer to spend quality time with family on a holiday

CHENNAI: There might come a time in future when people may forget the art of cooking and connoisseurs will have to revive the art.

“With all readymade mixes and eatables available in market, why waste time on making such things. Many of us are professionals and we do not have time to try and learn to make,” says S. Geetha, an advocate.

S. Selvakumari, an entrepreneur, who manages serviced apartments, has plans to meet friends on Deepavali day. “We have a cook and she will make idli, kurma and we will go out in the evening. This year we bought savouries and sweets from a sweet shop. Usually we celebrate at home but this year we wanted a change.”

Businesses are cashing in on this pattern of more and more people buying items that are available readily. Items including the Deepavali legiyam, sweets, savouries and food items are all available in the market. With people having lesser time to do things, there is more demand for readymade clothes too, which is why the bazaars are crowded beyond a limit.

“Many people have not learnt these skills from their parents. They do not know to make adhirasam, murukku or laddus. So shops like ours come into the picture. Even though they buy sweets, we also provide legiyam, oil, ghee, vasana powder that are all part of the Deepavali celebrations so that the tradition continues,” said M. Murali of Sri Krishna Sweets.

G. Saravanamahesh, partner, Grand Sweets and Snacks, said that people did not mind buying sweets and savouries as long as they taste like home-made. “We have regular customers, who buy these items in large quantities to distribute to friends and relatives. Many people do not have time.”

Not just sweets and savouries but even idli batter is one item that is very much needed during the festival time. A. Krishna, who has been running an idli dosa batter for the past five years, says he will be grinding 50 litres of batter extra this year. “There will be more demand during Deepavali since idli and dosa are part of the festival in Tamil Nadu. People have to make these items to make the celebration complete. They don’t have time to soak and grind to make the batter so we provide it to them.

Ramesh Narayanan, vice-president (State head) of Reliance Fresh, says that people prefer to spend quality time with the family on a holiday rather than using that time to cook. “A lot of readymade mixes including vada mixes, payasam mixes are available. In fact, there is even instant sambar from a few brands. However, people want to make the stuff at home so we are just providing them the raw materials so they can make it quickly.”

But Mohana Srinivasan, a homemaker, says not all make a beeline for shops. “There are people who learn from cooking books or from experienced neighbours and friends. Since I cannot stand for too long, I have made only cashew cake and badusha and the legiyam. But my husband helps around the kitchen so I did not find it difficult. Even while working, I used to make savouries and sweets.”

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