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Warmth of a good bargain

- Advent of hill vendors signals onset of winter with all its delights

Nov. 29: Didi, bhaiya sweater shawl dekh lo! (Sister, brother, have a look at sweaters and shawls)”…holler some Bhutanese or Nepali winter wear vendor every time you pass their stalls at Paltan Bazar here.

Their advent, which signals that of winter, means happiness for those on the lookout for a good bargain and don’t give a hoot for pricey branded woollens.

Sitting by their stalls of woollen wear and sipping tea, with loud invitations to passersby to come and check out their wares, these colourfully clad vendors paint a really different picture of winter.

The scene is especially striking at Paltan Bazar where several small stalls, stocked with colourful sweaters, stoles, jackets and caps of varied designs, come up around this time of the year on the otherwise empty pavements.

The people here, too, wait eagerly for their arrival in the hope of a good bargain. Though the vendors have become a bit tight on the bargain front in recent times, one can always hope to purchase a trendy woollen at a reasonable price.

“We come to the city from Nepal in the month of November every year to sell woollen garments. We do good business here as people of all ages come to us. All our goods are brought from Nepal. We will be here till February next year,” said Sarita Gurung, a young Nepali woman vendor.

“We keep stocks of attractive sweaters and jackets in different designs for men, women and children. Starting from a range of Rs 500, these goods are available for Rs 1,500 or more. We hope to make a good sale during this winter,” said Geeta Thapa, another Nepali woman vendor.

Equally tempting during winter are the numerous stalls that come up in front of roadside sweetmeat shops, serving hot and delicious pakoras, aaloo chops, samosas, spicy aaloo tikki chaat and jalebis, among others. Not to forget the momo carts selling hot chicken and pork versions of the dumplings on a winter evening. One can easily spot youngsters as well as professionals flocking around the carts after wrapping up the day’s work to warm themselves up by having a plate of piping hot momos.

“I love momos and usually come to have them with my friends in the evening. We mostly purchase it from a particular vendor who sells chicken momos near the Bhangagarh flyover. These are quite cheap at Rs 20 per plate and the vendor even serves us chicken soup in small plastic cups,” said Ima Dey, a college-goer.

The city residents can hope to enjoy a nice winter. Experiencing the chill since the past two days, people have begun taking out their woollens and donning them even during the daytime.

“The temperature has gone down since last Monday as a result of the Easterlies and North Easterlies, which are dry winds blowing over the Northeast. Though it will be cold, there is no forecast of rain during the next couple of days with the days remaining sunny,” an official of the Regional Meteorological Centre here said.


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