A display of light and sound

A display of light and sound

Sparkling Festivities

A display of light  and sound

Good business: Sale of crackers is slowly picking up in many areas in the City.

Crackers are an integral part of Deepavali. After the traditional oil bath in the morning, many families head to the nearest open ground where an array of crackers are sold.

A walk through areas like Mamulpet, Chickpet, Military Grounds, Sultanpet or even Jayanagar and Malleswaram will tell you that crackers are widely sold during the festival.

These stalls, usually in open grounds, consist of a large variety of crackers ranging from sparklers, flower pots, sky shots and bombs.

Many shopkeepers say that customised gift boxes are a hot favourite among customers today.

In tune with the demand of the customers, vendors have been displaying different varieties of chakras, sparklers and flower pots at the stalls.

“Gone are the days when people used to purchase only Lakshmi Pataki, ‘Atom Bomb’ and other crackers that generate a huge sound,” says S Sagayanathan, who has been in the cracker business for a long time.

Now, Bangaloreans seem to be spoilt for choice when it comes to variety.

On a visit to one such ground in Jayanagar, one could see men, women and children going on a cracker-buying spree.

Though the children wanted crackers with fancy names and drawings, the parents had the final say in the matter.

“We know our responsibility as citizens and we don’t want to buy crackers that are loud or those that disturb our neighbours. Since crackers are an integral part of the festive celebrations, we buy good quality crackers like flower pots, chakras, sparklers,” says Kiran, a parent.

While most Bangaloreans buy crackers from these temporary stalls, there are some stores that keep crackers all year round.

Mahesh C Kori, who has been running ‘Sri Sivananda Stores’ in Mamulpet for the past two decades, says that he keeps his stall open throughout the year.

“Of late, people burst crackers on almost every occasion. So the demand is always there. But there is nothing like the one we see during Deepavali,” he says.

Many come to him to buy crackers just a day or two before the festival, he says. “There are some who come a week before and place the order. But the crowd grows as the festival nears,” he adds.

The prices of crackers have been skyrocketing. Stall owners say that the response has been lukewarm and that it is too early to say anything.

“Most sales happen just a day or two before the festival. So we are sure that more people will come in then,” says Ramesh, one of the stall owners.

There are those who also prefer to go to Hosur in Tamil Nadu to buy crackers at a cheaper rate.

Anil, a businessman, says, “I used to buy crackers from the City stalls for higher prices.

But ever since I got to know how profitable it is to buy crackers in bulk from Hosur, I have been going there. It takes a lot of time to go there and get it.  It is worth only if you are buying crackers in bulk.”

Only a section of traders are worried about people going to Hosur to get crackers. Sagayanathan says, “Not everyone can go all the way to Hosur.

Most people find it convenient to purchase crackers locally. So we aren’t worried.”

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