Umbrellas losing the cool quotient?

Marked Absence

You can stand under my umbrella (Ella ella eh eh eh)” That umbrella song by Rihanna was just not the top number on the charts only once upon a time, it actually went on to be a favourite across generations of youngsters throughout the world.

 Go into the ‘ella eh eh’ mode ever, and you would have a good number of people joining you in. But why are we reminiscing the glory of this eternal favourite number? On an entirely different note, we went around the City centre looking for umbrellas, but found to our dismay that there are hardly any takers for the humble ‘chhata’. 

Stringed upside down in malls or the haats in the capital, the beauty of these Rajasthani or Gujarati embroidered umbrella makes you wonder why are the streets in Delhi devoid of their presence. On a whim, we would love to see some of them opened and flung in the air, almost like the convocation hats! But Akanksha Pandita makes a valid point to explain why the City’s young’uns have given the humble chhatri a go by this season. 

“Can you imagine the price of a finely embroidered fancy umbrella? It runs into thousands. Even in the streets of Gujarati Market or the travellers haven Paharganj, it’s tough to negotiate its price as they reserve such products for foreigners. On that, why would you want such an expensive umbrella to fade in the searing Delhi heat?” “Interestingly, there are special shops dedicated to umbrellas in the southern states of India, lined across the streets. Also, you may not find any other thing, but an umbrella shop finds a prominent place at the airports, such as in Kochi,” says Swathi Perugappali, a traveller in Delhi. 

Interestingly, university students like Abhilasha Gosain declare the umbrella to be a fashion faux pas. Why? “When you are dressed immaculately, ready with your sunshades and sunscreen cream, what’s the need to hide under an umbrella? These fancy ones that you find in the market are usually used for decoration, especially in functions like sangeet during weddings.” The youngsters went on to say, “Scarves, sunscreens, and shades, these three do the trick for us. Even in monsoons, nobody cares to carry around an umbrella. Its just extra baggage!.” 

Perhaps the fancy ones only find themselves creatively placed in wedding halls and the simpler ones find favour in photography studios where they are usually needed as reflectors!  

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