This year, behind the buzz in the Valley markets on the eve of Eid-ul-Azha is the dampened spirit of customers battered by rising prices.
Ahead of the festival, window shopping remained order of the day on Tuesday. Exponential rise in prices of eatables, fancy clothes and general increase in the cost of living fuelled by inflation this year has many Valley customers tightening their purse strings.
"I had saved money to purchase a sacrificial goat, which is an obligation for a Muslim. This year, it is not easy to go extravagant," said Fayaz Ahmad, a shopper, who has restricted his Eid menu due to inflation.
"Inflation has burnt a hole in our pockets. Making ends meet is getting difficult. I have cut on expenses on bakery, confectionaries and clothes this year," said Ahmad, a father of two.
Salesmen working with the leading shops in the city malls confirm the dip in the sales. "Footfalls do increase on Saturday and Sunday. But for the past two days the business is sluggish unlike last year," said Sajid Ahmad, a salesman.
However, sacrificial goat market has remained untouched by inflation. Sources claim that there is a significant increase in the sale of sheep and goats this year despite inflation.
There is no stopping people from swarming markets for window shopping. "The festival is all about joy and happiness. I may not purchase goods but it is an occasion to know what's new in the market. I am hopeful that good times are ahead and next Eid, we will have enough money to splurge," said Abid Dar (21), a resident of Srinagar's old city.