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The Onam bustle is back on the streets

Though there was some compensation for the two-year lull, business is yet to touch the pre-pandemic levels

September 07, 2022 07:11 pm | Updated 07:18 pm IST - KOLLAM

People throng Convent Road in Kollam on Wednesday for last-minute Onam shopping.

People throng Convent Road in Kollam on Wednesday for last-minute Onam shopping. | Photo Credit: C. Sureshkumar

After two years of low-key celebrations, Kollam city was totally caught in the festive spirit on Wednesday as shops and streets began to get packed from the morning. While the weather warnings had prevented the people from going out on the last couple of days, ‘Uthrada pachil’, the last-minute purchase spree, kept the roads busy on the day before Thiruvonam. Though provisions stores and textile shops saw a steady inflow of customers, street vendors, who expected a rush akin to the pre-pandemic times, seem disappointed. “We feel it’s mainly due to the weather alerts. Monday we had a red alert and there was no rain. But it definitely affected the number of customers. Usually a lot of families from the outskirts visit the city to shop during the week of Onam and this time many of them skipped that trip expecting heavy rains. Today is Uthradam, but compared to pre-pandemic days our business is dull,” says Sreevalasn who sells Onam toys and clothes.

Eateries overburdened

While provision and vegetable stores are doing brisk business, most eateries said they are overburdened with orders. “No good restaurant was ready to take our order for Onasadya today and even dine-in was difficult. There are long queues in front of all restaurants and most had closed sadya and payasam orders for Thiruvonam on last Sunday,” says Waheeda from Thevally. Caterers and home chefs too agree that they had record orders this time. “I stopped taking small orders since packing will be very difficult. We were not prepared for hundreds of sadya orders, but this year demand is skyrocketing,” says Sinju, caterer from Kallumthazham.

Exhibitions, fairs

Apart from malls and shopping complexes, Kollam beach, the venue of District Tourism Promotion Council’s Onam programmes, also witnessed a heavy crowd on Wednesday. “There are a lot of exhibitions and fairs going on the city. The roads have come alive after a long time and we are expecting to do good business till Sunday. I have already sold more than 200 cups of tea today. Last year I was it was hardly 25,” says Saravanan, tea vendor.

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