Mysore/Mysuru: “Pandemic or no pandemic, we don’t stop making our bamboo wares. The virus may have shaken the world but can we stop trusting God and stop worshipping Him? We make some decent earnings during this Ganesha festival season which helps us sustain for a few months. This year the sales of the traditional ‘moras’ has been a tad slow but it did pick up soon and people are back to buying them. Thanks to their faith. Goddess Gowri will protect us all. She hasn’t let us down very badly in spite of all the fears,” says Manjula, whose family from Nanjangud makes bamboo ladders, baskets and mainly moras and sets up their shop in Agrahara Circle every year during this season.
We are here since a fortnight and will pack up in a couple of days. Thankfully we are doing okay and hope to come back to some better business next year too, she adds but rues that they haven’t received any help from the Government.
The virus scare has kept many indoors but hasn’t stopped them from celebrating the festivals safely in their homes. The annual ritual of sharing ‘morada bagina’ in bamboo moras or trays continues this year too.
“A lot of other business has suffered a huge loss they say during this bad phase. But thankfully for us it hasn’t been as bad as we expected. Yes, the sales may have slightly dipped but most of the wares have been sold. I sell about 300-400 pairs of ‘moras’ in a day during this one week of the festival season. This year too people have been buying the same way, though business started a bit late, says Somanna, who has his shop near Apollo BGS Hospital in Kuvempunagar.
Gowramma, who too is satisfied with her sales, says they buy raw materials mainly from Madikeri, Gonikoppal and surrounding areas. “This year thankfully we bought the materials well in advance or the recent havoc in Kodagu would have ruined us also,” she says.
However, Shivalingamma is a sad soul! Her business hasn’t picked up at all, she couldn’t get enough raw materials either and she is worried about the unsold moras as the moisture will spoil them if not stored properly.
“This deadly virus has turned everything upside down… My regular customers also have not turned up this year and I cannot preserve the unsold moras for next year,” she rues.
“The rituals of the Gowri festival, including sharing the ‘morada bagina’ is very sacred and we cannot skip it. We will not invite too many people home and even when we go to someone’s house to give the bagina, we will wear our masks and take precaution,” says Meera Gopal of Ramakrishnanagar.
Though the normal enthusiasm and joy of the festival is not seen much, those who celebrate are doing it in a small way continuing the rituals.