The Telegraph
Thursday , November 8 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Sonakshi’ to light up Diwali skies

- ‘Patna ki Phuljhari’ arrives with boom, thrilled fans stock up packets in advance

Sonakshi will sizzle this Diwali.

Shatrughan “Shotgun” Sinha’s daughter is not only about to set the big screen on fire with the November 13 release, Son of Sardaar, but also promises residents a cracker of a time on Diwali night too. Packets of flowerpots (anars) with Sonakshi smiling out of them, for the first time, have reached the wholesale cracker market in Patna City.

Shopkeepers are thrilled and have nicknamed the flowerpots “Patna ki Phuljhari”, referring to the actress’s links with the capital.

Her fans are thrilled and are stocking up on their “phuljhari”. Some have promised the crackers to their children and some have kept those for themselves.

Rajesh Kumar Ray, a happy shopkeeper at Khajekala in Patna City, said: “Crackers being named after Bollywood celebrities is not a new trend. New names keep on adding to the list. The crackers come ready from the factory (in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu) and we don’t add any value to them. The factory people make the crackers based on the popularity of a person and focus on popular faces like Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Deepika Padukone.”

The newest kid, err cracker, on the block is attracting customers by the dozen.

Kankerbagh resident Manas Kapoor is happy with the new Diwali arrival. “Every year, I purchase crackers with pictures of Priyanka Chopra and Preity Zinta on the packets. I was expecting crackers named after Sonakshi since I watched Dabangg (2010) but they were not available. Thank God, it has finally arrived this year. I have bought five packets of the Sonakshi flowerpots,” he said.

Alok Chopra, a resident of Maroofganj in Patna City, also said: “My children will like this cracker. They are big fans of Sonakshi and have watched all her movies. I have bought four packets and will gift them to my children on Diwali.”

The cracker does not make a noise but a colourful fountain bursts out like a siren before sparkling in the night.

Ravikant Kumar, a shopkeeper in Gujri Bazaar, said: “Sonakshi is from Patna but crackers in her name were missing from the market. Now, that the crackers have arrived, they will add flavour to the festivities. People are buying the flowerpots like anything. They are not too expensive also, just Rs 150 for 10 pieces. I have ordered 1,000 packets and have sold 400 in two days.”

He added: “Factories in Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu’s Virudhunagar district supply crackers around the country on Diwali. Crackers are also exported from Sivakasi. The factory authorities decide which celebrity would be paired with which cracker and the name also depends on the personality. Sonakshi has a pretty face and has been nicely paired with the flowerpots.”