In an attempt to woo customers despite rising costs, a stall owner at Mohammed Ali Road has introduced a China-made electrical firecracker. The remote-controlled cracker starts sparkling with the same sound as the real thing at the push of a button.
The electrical, reusable cracker, which the seller feels people will go for. It will be sold for Rs 3,000
But, even by late evening yesterday, no one had bought it from him. Arif Sheikh, who is selling the Chinese cracker said, “Only we are selling the Chinese crackers here. But, so far, no one has bought it.
A new type of firework called China Fountain, which gives out sparks in silver and gold
Over time people are going for lesser crackers because the cost is rising. But we feel that, because the cost is going up, people will go for reusable electric crackers. They also will go for them as they don’t harm the environment.
That’s why I feel someone or the other will buy this Chinese cracker.” Besides looking and sounding like the real thing, the reusable firework will not pollute the air. Sheikh has brought only two pieces.
But, the rising costs have affected Diwali celebrations in the city, say shopkeepers. Most have observed a decrease in the amount of fireworks and decorations bought by people. Some shopkeepers, who have been selling fireworks for about 10 years, blame the hike in price by 30 per cent for firecrackers, and other decorative materials, for this.
A packet of 12 ‘rassi’ bombs was sold a Rs 60 last year, and this year, a packet of 10 comes for Rs 80. A packet of Taj Mahal crackers cost Rs 40 last year. It is Rs 60 now. Paper lanterns, for instance, are being sold this year Rs 500 onwards, depending on their size and quality. Last year, they were priced starting at R300.
A wholesale seller at Mohammed Ali Road, Yasin Qureishi, said, “Most of the regular customers would buy crackers for Rs 2,000, which would be about three bags full. This year the demand has dropped, as the prices have increased. Now customers buy fireworks for Rs 1000 which would not even fill one bag.”
Ahmed Abbas Abbajuma, another shop owner, says, “Fewer people are buying crackers. It is because of the hike in prices. Those that come, want crackers with disco lights and loud sound.”
>> Disco flash - emits a white flash of lights, along with sound. Costs Rs 90 for 6 pieces.
>> Mine of serpents - It is a flower pot from which sparks emanate, creating the shape of snakes. Costs Rs 175 for 10 pieces.
>> China Fountain - This emits a fountain in silver and gold. Costs Rs 80 for 6 pieces.
>> Stardom - It is like a flower pot that lasts for five minutes with the sound of crackers. Each piece costs Rs 150
>> Musical ‘mala’ - It emits a bursting sound and music. Cost Rs 200 for 5 pieces.