Inflation spoils the festive spirit

Inflation spoils the festive spirit

With Durga Puja already in, routine shopaholics and those who shop only for special occasions have all the right reasons to be excited. The sales and discounts that are common to any festive season have already started flooding the malls and marketplaces.

New attire, sweets, gift items, gold coins and jewellery are among the many guilty pleasures waiting to be indulged in.

Bhavana Raman, a management professional, says that she loves shopping for the festive season. Describing her shopping list, she shares, “I always like to add something exclusive to my wardrobe and will get a few traditional Kanchipuram and tusser saris.

Puja shopping is incomplete without the Bengali cotton sari, namely the taath sari and Dhaka jaamdani. I have also been to some stores to buy designer wear. For my daughter Ivey, I’ve designed and got a sari stitched, for which I picked up the material on Commercial Street after bargaining with the shopkeeper. My husband picked up some clothes from Malaysia and Sri Lanka during our family vacation but needs to shop for his own kurtas. We’ve also got some matching shoes for the clothes.”

In terms of attire, the popular colour combination is red and white. “Right now, the red and white sari is what everybody wants. Some of them go for the traditional style while others make it more modern. For the past month, those are the only orders I’ve been getting,” says designer Rajitha Dsilva, who runs ‘JustDrape’.

But all is not well on the financial front. Over the last few years, people have started complaining about it being too expensive to indulge in the festivities as lavishly as they once could. And the current state of the Indian economy only adds to the problem.

Despite the rising demands, sweet sellers like KC Das are not inflating prices. “As a company, we maintain the same price throughout the year regardless of the festive seasons. We revised our prices this April and those are what we have been charging our customers. The most popular sweets this season are soan papdi, rasgulla, sandesh, gulab jamun and kheer kadam,” informs Rangarajan, who runs the Indiranagar branch.

Even with basic supplies like fruits, which are used as offering and gifts, price rise is playing havoc.

“For the past few years, it’s been quite an investment to celebrate the puja the way it ought to be. I pre-ordered all the fruits I would need at a fixed rate from my regular fruit-seller, so that I don’t get cheated,” says Kheya Jain, a housewife.

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