With the festival of colours just around the corner, stores and stalls at Vashi’s APMC market are stocked with various Holi accessories to attract buyers of all ages. With there being a demand for natural colours this year, one can find a wide range in the market.
Priced a bit higher, these colours are non-toxic and skin-friendly. However, most of the sellers at the market have a common complaint about business being much slow in comparison to previous years. Although kids are still dragging their parents to the market to buy them fancy water guns, the spending capacity of people in comparison to the other years seems to have reduced due to inflation.
A variety of water guns priced differently are being sold at the market. While a simple one could cost you hardly Rs 7, the fancy water guns can come at a hefty price of Rs 450 per piece.
This season has seen themes like Angry Bird, Doraemon and Power Ranger selling like hot cakes. There are small water guns in the shape of cola bottles, which are quite fancy. Hari Patel one of the sellers said, “The business has been very slow so far due to the ongoing exams. However, we hope to see more buyers now.” However, he said, the sale of water balloons has picked up.
“With the prices of basic necessities so high, most people hesitate to buy such things. Even if they do, then it would be in small quantities and not as much as they would buy in past years,” adds a seller from APMC market requesting anonymity.
Both chemical and natural colours are available in the market with the demand for the latter much higher. Dheeraj Patel, a salesman for Holi colours, explains, “The benefit of natural colours is that it can be used by both adults and children. Parents do not need to worry that it might affect a child’s skin. Besides you do not need to be concerned about it staying on the skin as it goes away after one wash itself.
The only problem is that these natural colours are priced much higher in comparison to the chemical ones. While a box of natural colours will cost a person Rs 95, the same amount of chemical colour can be bought by a person anywhere between Rs 30-40.” Dry colours have also been selling fast and are found in both packets as well as spray cans.
A unique type of colour called magic colour is hogging the limelight this year. Available in both bottles as well as sachets, these colours are being used by people to fool their friends. When you pour the colour, clothes get coloured by the ink. However, the colour vanishes in some time.
Mohan Bhai, another shopkeeper at the APMC market, said, “You get them in various colours like blue and orange. Once poured, the colour goes away and all one is left with is a bit of liquid water.”
These magic colours, which are priced at Rs 30 per bottle and Rs 20 per sachet, can be bought for a lesser price after bargaining. Besides this, the other new product is snow sprays. When sprayed, the product seems like snow, but then changes to colour.
Doraemon water guns: Rs 280
Angry Birds: Rs 220
Power Rangers (small): Rs 30
Flute water guns: Rs 35
Ben 10 water guns: Rs 100