Tuesday, December 6

Only long-range pichkaris, water balloons sell in city Holi markets

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The country is witnessing the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and Holi is set to be low-key. Even Holi markets in Kolkata are seeing demand for items that allow people to celebrate the Festival of Colours from a distance. The demand for gulal, however, is low.

Burrabazar’s Holi market is filled with different types of masks. The usual fibre masks with Halloween and Superhero designs are still in demand, but this year, the manufacturers have added a special safety layer to all of these masks. Special cloth filters have been added to the holes for nostrils and eyes. “These masks are selling like hot cakes, as they protect the entire face,” said Amarjit Kushwaha, a Holi goods wholesaler at Burrabazar.


Social distancing is key to the celebrations, so pichkaris with a range of 15 to 25 feet are seeing high demand. Gun pichkaris, however, have very few takers. “Most gun pichkaris do not have a long range and are mostly made for children,” said Nitin Ahuja, another Burrabazar wholesaler. Water balloons are also in high demand.


Gulal is usually among the highest selling items, but there is almost no demand this year. The sellers said the demand is 70% lower and they don’t know what to do with the stock. “To play with gulal, you need to go near another person and that’s against social distancing norms. That’s why most people are avoiding it,” said Subhash Samaddar at Burrabazar.

Arijit Roy, who sells herbal colours and gulal at Gariahat, said even his regular customers are ordering very small quantities of gulal. “They need it only for traditional rituals,” he said.

Source: Times of India

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