Festive mood amidst drought fear

Devotion not dampened by scanty rains; Brisk sale of Ganesha idols in Kolar

awaiting customers: Ganesha idols put up for sale at a shop  in Kataripalya in Kolar. dh photo

The City is gearing up for the Ganesha festival amidst paucity of rains hindering agricultural activities. The last week of Sharavana Maasa is the pinnacle of festive season. People are preparing for the festival, setting aside the trauma that the drought may bring with it. The notable mindset prevailing is that of an unconnected one to the scare of the drought.

Price rise
The price of Gowri and Ganesha idols too have increased in tune with the rise in the price of essential commodities. The manufacturers attribute the rise to the soaring up of the input costs. They claim that cost of each item used in preparing an idol has gone up by at least Rs 50. Accordingly, there has been proportionate rise in the price of the idols.

 A small-sized Ganesha idol which was easily available for Rs 10 last year, now costs anything between Rs 40 and Rs 50. The price increases in direct proportion to the increase in size. The price of an idol of 7.5 feet to 8 feet, the maximum height, is hovering around Rs 5,000, this year. However, the rise in the price has not become a deterrent for the purchasers. There has been no significant drop in the sales. All the festival enthusiasts - public who have collected contribution from residents of a layout to children and youth associations, are out to purchase the idols.

The largest shop selling the idols is located in Kataripalya in the City. Idol making is the family profession for Somashekhar, the proprietor. His previous generations had been into manufacture and sale of idols. Groups of children and youth were seen in his shop on Sunday. Hard bargaining was on. Going by the strength of the crowds, there appeared to be no drought for the devotion and the  public spirit to observe the festival.
“It is a major festival for us. How can we not celebrate it on account of drought?” a group of youth justified. “We can forget our problems, at least temporarily in the guise of festival. People gather at a place for puja and we get to meet our relatives and friends. The daily grinding of life, of course resumes later,” said Praveen.

With the festival nearly a week away, a festive fever has gripped the city already. “There will be no demand for idols once the occasion is over. The profit has a direct bearing on sales,” said Ramesh, who had come from Channapatna to purchase idols.

On the other hand, idols were being loaded into a truck for transportation to V Kota in Andhra Pradesh. The clay of the tanks in the city, bereft of water, is now reaching the distant places in the form of idols. People from far and near places, Bangalore, Bangalore Rural, Mandya, Davangere, Tumkur, Chitradurga districts and places near Andhra Pradesh border come to City for purchasing idols at wholesale prices. The idols are sold till the last day - the festival day.

Scanty rains might have affected the farm activities in the district, but seems to have not dampened the festive mood and the spirit in people.

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