According to city storeowners, the hottest items on sale are dandiyas decorated in the funky hand-painted raja- rani style. King-queen emblems are painted onto the sticks in bright oil paints. The more expensive version features puppets carved onto the sticks, then decorated with cloth and embroidery, mirroring the traditional festive costumes. These are gaining popularity among the youth.
“This new style has a bigger demand as compared to other dandiya sticks. We order for 1000 sticks every Navratri and rent at least 800, though most people only come in a couple of hours before the event,” says Vatsal Shah, proprietor of Magic Dresswala stores in Borivali West. But at around Rs 300 for a pair, they can put a big dent in your wallet, when compared to other varieties (Rs 150).
Traditional versions are covered with bandhani (tie-dye) fabric or lace. Those who plan to go ‘pandal-hopping’ can make a style statement with tri-coloured aluminum dandiyas. If bling is your thing, dandiyas embellished with a pair of ghungroos at one end are worth the money.