With Diwali round the corner, the sector-9 market in Navi Mumbai has broken out into a riot of colour, with an assortment of Diwali decorative items on display. Illuminated with hundreds of lanterns and lights, the stores are wearing a festive look and have captured the imagination of Diwali shoppers, and none more than that of people who will be celebrating their first Diwali in the city.
For Chennai native Meena Rangam, who will be celebrating Diwali for the first time in the city, a visit to the market has turned out to be an out of this world experience. “For the first time, I have seen a variety of Diwali décor items around me in so many vivid colors. I am looking forward to celebrating Diwali in the city. The festive atmosphere compliments the spirit of this city,” said Rangam.
But, the assortment of decorative items on sale has, however, left her and several others spoilt for choice. A range of diyas, lanterns are on offer at the market, and buyers are caught between the traditional handicrafts and new-age designs. The market is flooded with diyas in a variety of shapes and, according to traders, families are opting for hand made diyas.
There are also plastic diyas on sale, which have been embellished with electrical lights. These are also a big hit among shoppers. But, grabbing the eyeballs of many customers are the colorful lanterns. Among them the most popular are the lotus and fireball lanterns. Shaped like a lotus, these lanterns are illuminated with a single light and are available in a range of colours. While the fireball lantern are available in pink, blue, red and brown color with many lights around it.
Old is gold
With consumers shifting their preferences in recent times, traders say that old-timers still prefer cloth lanterns. These lanterns, which a few years ago were considered old, fashioned, have the very essence of tradition to it.
Natha Bhai, a shopkeeper from the sector-9 market, said, “Apart from lotus and star lanterns, the traditional cloth lanterns are also in demand, and these lanterns are mostly sold out every year. One of the reasons they are popular is that they can be reused, and are also eco-friendly” Traders, meanwhile, are a satisfied lot as business is good so far in comparison to the previous few years.
What’s on offer
Lotus lantern: Rs 400
Fireball lanterns: Rs 60
Traditional cloth lantern: Rs 75 onwards
Hand made diya’s: Rs 95 onwards (depending on size)
Regular diya’s: Rs 40 onwards (depending on size)