Life & Style

Deepavali shopping in Coimbatore

Crowd in the streets

Crowd in the streets   | Photo Credit: J Manoharan

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Be it crackers, sweets or refrigerators, the degree of enthusiasm and happy anticipation is the same as people queue up for their festive purchases

The sky is overcast and there is a slight drizzle. But nothing deters the Deepavali shoppers. They shoulder their way through the crowds clutching their bags waiting to be filled or already filled with festive goodies. “After all Deepavali comes once a year. How can we not celebrate it?” asks Prasanth S. This 26-year-old corporate employee is at Cross Cut Road to buy a new refrigerator. “I hope to get a good deal. The season is known for discount offers. I will first check out all the electronic stores on this road and decide where to buy it from.” Prasanth only recently got a job and the fridge is a gift for his mother, he smiles happily.

Cross Cut Road

Customers stream out of Shree Devi Textiles, as more of them squeeze their way in happy anticipation. The staff is awfully busy trying to make out what the shoppers want them to pull out from the shelves behind. “Can you get me the same design in yellow?” asks Priya Lokesh who is here with her family. “This is my thala Deepavali. I am looking for a yellow Tussar silk sari,” she says.

Muhammed Rizwan

Muhammed Rizwan  

On the pavement outside sits vendor Muhammed Rizwan who sells nighties, sportingly listening to a bunch of women who are trying to beat down the price. “I have to be quick or else they can change their mind and walk away,” he says. Muhammed sells the nighties for ₹185 and ₹210 per piece. “Sustenance is more important for me than celebration. For the past two years, Deepavali sales have come down. The added taxes on goods have badly affected small vendors like me. So I have to make the most out of this season,” he says.

Crackers

Crackers   | Photo Credit: The Hindu Archieves

Raja Street

There is a long queue in front of Senniah Gowder Stores at Raja Street. Stacks of cracker packets are neatly arranged on the floor and shelves on the wall. “Two packs of sparklers and six mathappu,” orders the first person in the line. Saieshwaram S, a partner of the store makes sure there is no delay in delivery. “My family has been doing this business for the past 75 years, We source our products from Sivakasi. We have gift packs with 16 to 42 different varieties of crackers and the price ranges from ₹300 to ₹1350,” he says. Outside the store, Chinnasamy M has been standing in the queue for the past 15 minutes. “I took a week’s leave from work to celebrate with my family. I plan to buy crackers for ₹1000. My children like sparklers and sky shots,” he says.

R S Puram

“Walk around and see for yourself what is happening,” invites a salesperson at Sri Krishna Sweets . He has no time to spare for chit-chat as he is busy helping a customer make up his mind about five kg of Mysurpa. The customer says he is buying them for his neighbours. They exchange sweets every year. As the five kilos are packed, another salesperson replaces them with another batch of sweets. Their assorted sweet collection in a pack is doing well. “It has laddu, halwa, badusha, soan papdi and cakes,” explains the salesman.

Diwali sweets

Diwali sweets   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

Bargaining is part and parcel of the game as a customer wants a discount for a packet of milk sweets at Agarwal Sweet Palace. “The rates are standard,” says the person at the counter, but finally ends up giving him a discount. Colourful gift boxes are stacked up, waiting to be filled and sold. “Our savouries also have a lot of takers. We started stocking up for Deepavali two weeks ago,” says Subodh Yadav of the store.

The Bombay Novelty Store has a set of golden LED lights at its entrance. “We received a lot of pre-orders,” says Dheeraj Khathuria, the owner. They also have rangoli powder kits that come with an applicator and a stencil.

The Sri Vasavi Vijayalakshmi Crackers shop at TV Samy Road has people from Sivakasi to who are at hand to tell you how to fire a certain kind of firework. “Over the past two years, we have developed crackers that are less noisy and are less polluting, ” claims A Samson of the store. He says that their sales will go up on the last two days before Deepavali. “We are usually sold out by then,” he smiles.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 8:28:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/diwali-shopping-in-coimbatore/article29786587.ece

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