Mumbaiites can expect a more colourful and less noisy Diwali this year, as a new range of noiseless, colourful crackers ruled the market as shoppers thronged to buy firecrackers on Monday.
New varieties of crackers with innovative names such as jet fountains, railway signals, wonder pops and butterflies have debuted in the market this year.
"These crackers are colorful and noiseless, and are popular among buyers who are becoming more conscious about noise levels," said retailer Imran Pathan, who is based in Mohammad Ali Road.
"We are not selling crackers such as lars this year, though they were the most popular last year, as they create a lot of noise and air pollution," he added
Activists, too, have noticed that the run-up to Diwali has been quieter than usual, with fewer crackers especially of the loud variety lighting up.
The regular fare that makes its way to most homes such as sparklers, flowerpots and ground chakris are also in demand in the market for all the colours they give out and lower decibel levels. Akashbajis, which shoot colourful sprays into the air, are the new favourites among buyers.
"We have various varieties of anar and phooljhadis, all in different coloured sparks, which are being sold the most," said Gaurav Radiye, a firecracker distributor in Dadar. "These light crackers are very popular with children," he added.
Despite the approximate 20% increase in firecracker prices from last year, vendors were busy with buyers at their stalls on Monday.
"More families come to buy firecrackers just a day before the festival," said Shivaji
Sule, a firecracker vendor in Dadar.
However, many vendors claimed that the demand for noisy crackers such as laris, Laxmi bombs, rockets
and fancy fireworks was also high.
"The purchase of firecrackers completely depends on the days of the festival. It's only on the day of Laxmi puja that people burst heavy crackers such as bombs, akaash baji and lars," said retailer Mukesh Shah.
"There are takers for bombs and so we sell them," said a firecracker seller, who didn't wish to be named.
"We do fear the cancellation of licence as the firecrackers are above the given decibels," he added.