| A woman buys sewai at a shop in Sabzibagh market in Patna on Sunday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Id-ul-Fitr will have the fragrance of jasmine for Nafisa this year. The 16-year-old added a vial of the flowery ittar (perfume) on Sunday to her collection.
“We buy new clothes and relish delicious dishes on Id. But to make the festival special, I bought some jasmine ittar,” she said. “When I put it on, it will enhance my mood.”
To accentuate the effect of the perfume, one needs perfect clothes. Bollywood is a great inspiration for the fashion-conscious revellers. Shopkeepers claim that the checked scarf sported by Salman Khan in recent blockbuster Ek Tha Tiger has been a huge hit among their customers. “I have sold more than 500 such scarfs in the past seven days,” said Shenawaz, a garment seller at Ashok Rajpath.
While connoisseurs grabbed the opportunity to splurge on luxuries, others planned to make Id sweeter with the delicious sewai.
Schoolteacher Mohammad Alam, 42, bought 10kg sewai on Sunday. “This is not only for my family but also for relatives and friends whom we gift sweets,” he said.
Revellers are not solitary in their delight. Those selling ittar, sewai and other essentials for the festival are also partaking the festive spirits, boosted by profits. The customers do not hesitate to loosen their purse strings while shopping for the festival, claim shopkeepers.
Naiyar Ansari, 32, the owner of Ghazipur Star Chemical Works at Sabzibagh, had reaped in around Rs 2 lakh by selling ittar this festive season. “For the past three months, we have been working 16-17 hours a day. We are toiling round-the-clock to sell special perfumes to our customers,” he said.
Other shopkeepers were so busy that they hardly had time to talk. Sonu (25), the owner of a sewai shop at Sabzibagh, told The Telegraph: “How can I talk to you? There are so many customers at my shop. If I don’t attend to them, they will go away.”
Later, he said: “The sewai fried in refined oil costs Rs 100 per kg, while those cooked in pure ghee is priced between Rs 120 and Rs 140.”
Asked if prices of sewai had gone north recently, he said: “Everything is expensive now. It’s Id after all.”