By M.B. Pavan Murthy
[Pics. by M.N. Lakshminarayana Yadav]
The popular Mannar’s Market in Shivarampet has paved way for artisans and traders to make extra money as Deepavali draws near.
Some traders in the bustling Mannar’s Market sell lamps of various hues and shapes procured from different parts of the country. Besides, clay lamps too have flooded the market, though the demand is less when compared to fancy Diyas.
Colourful clay lamps are eye-catching with some among them fitted with bulbs that glow with battery power. These lamps are sold in a set of ten numbers costing Rs.250 with a single lamp costing Rs.30. Also lamps made of wax and perfumed ones too are on sale. The market is flooded by a variety of lamps and there is not much change in the prices when compared to last year. The special materials and articles required for Deepavali are available at Rajratan Novelty, Nemichand Mangilal Shop and other Stores.
Suresh Kumar, owner of Rajratan Novelty Shop, said that the prices of lamps at his shop starts from Rs.15 with the costliest being Rs.500.
Sky basket (Aakasha Butti) sells like hot cakes. Almost all decorative articles and lamps are brought from Chickpet in Bengaluru and sold here. Another shop that sells Deepavali items outside Mannar’s Market is Mahaveerji Shop located in Vasavi Complex, right opposite the Mannar’s Market. Shop owner Mahaveer says that there are only three to four shops that sell Deepavali items, articles and decorative lamps.
Mahaveer says that the price of clay lamp at his shop ranges from Rs.5 to Rs.30 depending upon the size. “These lamps arrive in Bengaluru from different parts of the State. Only a few traders from Shivarampet buy them in bulk at wholesale prices,” he said.
Nemichand Mangilal Shop owner Mukesh said, “We sell clay lamps starting from Re.1 apiece to Rs.550 based on the size and design. There is not much price variation this time with the price of lamps almost the same as that of last year with hardly a two percent increase.” Pointing out that sky baskets are much in demand, with girls and women looking for variety, he said that it was fun to watch Aakasha Butti light up the skies at night.
The traders after bringing the lamps in bulk from Bengaluru entrust the responsibility of artwork to local artisans who carry out the job on a minimum of 400 lamps per day. Artisans charge Rs.2 or Rs. 3 for each lamp and the wages will be paid to them based on the number of lamps that they work.
Women from Siddarthanagar, Vivekanandanagar and some other parts of the city do this skilful artwork, according to Mahaveer.