MUHAMMAD SHOAIB MIR | 20 MARCH, 2019
Chinese products and online shopping leave vendors high and dry
Holi is considered to be the festival of colours or festival of love, and it is celebrated every year to mark the beginning of the harvest season and spring. Holi is celebrated in places associated with the Hindu god Krishna, first in the evening known as Holika Dahan (the burning of the demoness Holika) and on the following day as Holi, Rangwali Holi, Phagwah and by several other names.
With Holi just around the corner Delhiites are getting ready to drench each other with colours and water. The city’s markets are jampacked particularly Sadar Bazar, Chandni Chowk, Dilli Haat and Lajpat Nagar, which provide a wide range of colours and toys in different shapes and sizes to attract customers. One needs to be very cations while waking through the streets these days, for a water balloon can come from any direction with the words, “Bura na maano, holi hai” (Don’t mind, it’s Holi).
The festival is also about food, of course, particularly sweets, and one can notice a huge rush outside sweet shops as people stock up on sweets to gift and devour, particularly the famous ghujiya.
Local vendors in Delhi don’t seem happy this year due to a decrease in the sale of colours: with the coming of Chinese products consumers prefer to buy them because they are cheap, fancy and durable. Also, with the spread of online shopping people are frequenting markets less and less. “Earlier I used to sell all my stock but for the last few years I barely manage to sell 70% of my stuff,” said Salman a local vendor at Sadar Bazar who has been in this business for the past nine years.
“A lack of enthusiasm can be seen among young people for Holi. Earlier people would visit their family and friends, now they prefer partying in clubs instead of playing with colours,” said a retired schoolteacher who had come here all the way from Noida to purchase a water gun for his granddaughter.
Brijesh Mishra has been in the business of selling gulaal for the past 17 years
Water balloons are a hot favourite item among youngsters
A Delhiite purchasing a water gun for Rs.900 from INA Market
A small girl purchasing gujiyas for Holi from a sweetshop located in south Delhi
A vendor packs gulaal for his customer at Sadar Bazar
Yadav comes every year all the way from Haryana to sell his products in Chandni Chowk
A boy wearing a Happy Holi cap reacts for the camera
A young boy looks excited while purchasing pichkaris for Holi
The past two Holis this 10-year-old has accompanied his father to his kiosk
Abdullah has been in this business for the past nine years
Traditionally, spring flowers were used as a source of pigments for Holi, but with time artificial dyes have replaced these natural ingredients
Sadar Bazar, jampacked with people purchasing Holi products over the weekend