LIFE

A dazzling display

Lighting up the skies.

Lighting up the skies.  

CHILDREN AND adults alike gather eagerly around the Teppakulam Mariamman temple tank, braving the chill wind and the overcast sky by 6.30 p.m. It is time for the fireworks display to begin.

The display by Standard Fireworks is on till Deepavali, opposite its `Pattasu Bazaar,' at the K. S. Punnavanam Arangam, as an advertising tactic as well as an entertainment. A dazzling display of multi-coloured, aerial fireworks awaits the patient spectator. Those hesitant to buy crackers can decide after witnessing the breathtaking display, held everyday at 7 p.m., for 20 minutes. An effusion of green, blue, gold, and red splash across the sky noiselessly, an indication of preference for crackers that are low on noise and high on visual appeal.

On the sale at the `Pattasu Bazaar' are special gift boxes of crackers and the staple ones like atom bombs, sparklers, flower pots and aerial comets and, of course, a stall stocking a range of new arrivals for this year's festival.

The Standard Fireworks' exclusive bazaar for crackers is unique not just in the aspect of a department-store-like fashion of selling crackers, but also in the safety aspect. The entire showroom has been insured for Rs.50 lakhs, and to ensure optimum safety for the customers, the boxes on display are dummy, and do not contain crackers. The customer chooses from the display, and the crackers are packed at a separate section underground.

Crackers galore

Crackers galore  

``This is probably the safest place to purchase crackers in the country,'' says the public relations personnel, V.R.P. Manohar. Standard Fireworks also provides free pamphlets at the bazaar about precautions that need to be undertaken during the purchase and bursting of crackers. Madurai is one of the few places, where cracker shopping is a hassle-free and safe experience, affirms Mr.Manohar.

The roadside stalls and shops are generally unsafe, and an accident could happen simply because the crackers are stored without any safety measures, he avers. So a trip to Standard Fireworks' `Pattasu Bazaar' is a must for the cracker-lovers and those who do not like to burst crackers but like to watch the colourful action!

For those in search of variety, Anil Fireworks has its bazaar at the E M S Kalyana Mahal at Tallakulam. Over 50 new varieties of crackers are available. With interesting names such as `Kargil Heroes,' ` Golden Goose,' `Rangeela,' `Megh Doot,' and ` Akash Nayagara.' No matter how many introductions are made, it is the regulars like the sparklers and flowerpots that constitute the popular buy, says the salesperson. The bazaar also has a lucky draw for customers buying crackers worth Rest. 200 and more.

By Preethi Chandrasekhar

Photos: S. James

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