A small, blue Japanese umbrella of little girl Biniya entices Nandakishore Khatri (played by Pankaj Kapur) to steal it and dye it red in the 2007 film The Blue Umbrella. Residents of the state capital might not covet others’ umbrellas but they are leaving no stone unturned to own a shade as pretty as Biniya’s.
The arrival of monsoon has washed away signs of a scorching summer and brought along a pageant of colourful umbrellas. Gone are the old, thick and heavy umbrellas, now is the time for the ones that can turn heads.
Shopkeepers in Patna said the market is flooded with umbrellas in different fabric and finish — nylon, polyester and satin. But customers — girls and children — are being choosy about the print and the colour.
“Girls mostly opt for umbrellas, which have little red hearts printed on them. Floral and polka dots are also favourites. Pink, red, purple and green are a few of the favourite shades for them,” said Sunil Agrawal, the owner of a garment shop on Thakurbari Road, who stocks umbrellas and raincoats in monsoon.
He added: “Earlier, customers took hardly any time in selecting umbrellas. But now when girls and children come to the shop to buy rain gear, they spend as much time selecting umbrellas as they would while deciding clothes.”
Large umbrellas are also out of fashion for the young style icons in Patna. Two-fold and three-fold umbrellas in the range of Rs 110-250, which are easy to carry, are selling like hot cakes.
The men, however, have stuck to the plain big, black umbrellas.
Shreya Singh, a BA Part I student of Vanijya Mahavidyalaya, said: “I have two stylish umbrellas but they were not enough for me this monsoon. So I came to the shop (Agrawal’s) to buy two more that would match my dresses.”
While girls are choosing soothing colours and floral prints, children are living up to their cartoon dream. “Mickey Mouse, Doraemon and teddy bears printed on umbrellas are very popular among the children. The rainbow-coloured umbrellas are another favourite,” said Umesh Sinha, a shopkeeper on Boring Road.
Shubham Raj, a Class III student of Rose Bell Academy, said: “I was looking for a Doraemon-printed umbrella for a long time. I finally got one.”