| Residents purchase sewai from a shop in Patna on Wednesday. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
The fragrance of itar (perfume) is in the air. The sweet aroma from bakeries and the happy faces of the customers at the market spell it out — Id is less than a week away.
Residents have been making a beeline near shacks of lachchas and sewais ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 500 a kg. It would be used to make sweets like shahi sewai and sheer korma.
Shazia Khan, a resident of Raja Bazaar, said: “Id comes once a year, so I don’t want to make any compromise. I bought packets of sewais to make sweet dishes for my family, neighbours and guests.”
Bakery owners, too, are pleased with the rush of customers. Prior to Id, customers place order for naan and bakarkhanis. The owner of Calcutiya Bakery said: “We got more than 120 orders from customers for 740 naans and 350 bakarkhanis. We would hire more people to meet the order. The demand for special roti is much higher than what I expected.”
Apart from sewais and naan, dry fruits are also selling like hot cakes. “The dry fruit packet ranges from Rs 480 to Rs 1,200. Pistachio is priced at Rs 900 a kg, almond at Rs 700 per kg, nuts are selling for between Rs 520 and Rs 600. Raisins start from Rs 240 and goes up to Rs 260 a kg. A combo packet of dry fruits has been priced between Rs 220 and Rs 1,500. I have made good money in a week, more than what I earn every month,” said Rakesh Gupta, the owner of a dry fruit store at Sabzibagh.
Big shops and malls, too, have been trying hard to woo customers with enticing offers. Anarkali suits with zari and resham embroidery work, Patiala and Pakistani suits are the must-buys this season.
Heena Shiekh, who had come to shop at P&M Mall’s store Hiba, said: “After seeing the collection of anarkali suits, I am confused as to what I should buy. I have already bought two pairs of anarkali suits.”
The owner of Public Fancy Store at Patna Market, said: “Netted anarkali suits are in demand. These are priced between Rs 1,500 and Rs 8,000, depending on the embroidery. The Pakistani suits start from Rs 3,500 and go up to Rs 10,000.”
People have also placed orders for apparels online. Artificial jewellery shops, beauty parlours and cosmetic shops have also arranged for mehendi artists.
If the women had their share of shopping fun, the men can’t be far behind. The men were busy selecting Pathani suits, kurta and pyjamas, crocheted caps and arafat scarves for the Id morning prayer.
A shopkeeper at Khadi Bhandar, said: “Men generally prefer coloured cotton and khadi kurtas but the youngsters are very choosy. The new shirt-styled kurtas are very popular among them.”
“I came back to Patna yesterday. I had no time to stitch clothes, so I bought readymade ones. I will buy a shirt-styled kurta and Pathani suit with arafat scarf,” said Nouman Malik, a Mahendru resident.
An employee of Maneka Tailors at Patna Market, said: “This year, we got more than 450 orders to stitch dresses. We have almost completed the work. Customers are picking up their dresses but some still want to place orders for stitching.”