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Bargain boon for shoppers

- Beauty treatment, henna and ittar spice up Chand Raat, a few put help over celebration

Last-minute Id shoppers on Monday proved the adage — the early bird catches the worm — wrong. They set out thinking they would not have much of a choice, but were in for a pleasant surprise — discounts.

Such was the frenzy at shopping haunts across the state capital — from Patna to Hathwa, from Khetan to Mauryalok — that men and women thronged them from morning till late in the evening. Otherwise too, Chand Raat offered an occasion for great excitement and eagerness. Chinese bulbs illuminated the streets.

Girls were excitedly buying matching earrings and brooches, while young men were busy selecting the best footwear for the festival. Queues were seen outside beauty parlours too for that extra bit to jazz up before Id. Cosmetic shops were chock-a-block with women of all age groups testing the best of make-up brands and the most fragrant of perfumes. Applying henna on hands also featured high on the list of their priorities.

Pinky Shakeel, the owner of Sony beauty parlour in Patna Market, said: “I hire henna artists from some makeshift kiosks to cater to women of all age groups on Chand Raat. I even engage additional temporary employees for hair-cutting and facials, as more and more people queue up before my shop to look their finest for the festival.”

For those engaged in garment business, the mantra was, however, different. Several shops slashed the prices of their clothes to dispose of their Id-special stock. Chandan Kumar, the owner of a shop at Patna Market selling fancy dresses, said: “I had bought a huge stock of net, cotton and chiffon Anarkali embroidered suits and Pakistani suits especially for Id. All Pakistani suits, with lace work, were sold out but we didn’t order more because the Anarkali suits were still on display. Now, we have reduced the prices of the Anarkali suits, from Rs 1,500-Rs 8,000 to Rs 1,000-Rs 5,000, to jack up the sales.”

“Because of my busy schedule, I hardly got time to buy clothes for Id. I ordered from an online shopping portal but I was not satisfied with the dress. Now, I would buy more clothes after breaking today’s (Monday) fast,” said Ashafaque Ahmad, a resident of Boring Road.

Men made a beeline for the nearest sewai and lachcha shops. Bakery items, crocheted topis, ittar and prayer mats were the most sought-after items flying off the shelves. Tailoring shops were equally crowded with people taking last-minute delivery of the ordered dresses.

The wafting fragrance of ittar drew the shoppers’ attention. Shahnawaz, a shop owner at Phulwarisharif, said: “Without applying ittar on new clothes, Id would not be complete.”