Traders are the losers as zeal for Holi wane
THE ENTHUSIASM among people on the occasion of Holi and Rangpanchmi has been waning over the years and there is every likelihood that the festival might get reduced to a mere formality in the years to come. With the festival losing its appeal, the traders and businessmen who depend on it for their business are the primary losers.
The residents and shopkeepers of the City attributed several reasons to this dampening of spirits. They said that now men have also become conscious of their looks and they avoid application of gulal on their faces. The changing lifestyles and shift in the mindset of people towards materialism is also responsible for this apathy towards the festival.
When shopkeepers selling colours and residents of the City were contacted by Hindustan Times most of them were of the opinion that spirits of people on Holi and Rangpanchmi have dampened drastically and it can be said that the people do not welcome and celebrate the festival as they used to in the past due to which the business of traders dealing in pichkaris, gulal, colours etc has been adversely affected.
On this Holi and Rangpanchami considerably greater numbers of clean faces could be seen on the roads. However, business has been affected to a greater extent since the factor of inflation also comes into play, the traders said.
Anil Arande, who sells colours every year on Holi and Rangpanchmi, maintained that compared to last year, this Holi his business had been reduced to less than half. He reasoned that this is a sign of decline in enthusiasm, as this indicates that fewer people are playing Holi and Rangpanchmi.
Similarly Deepak Kakne revealed that his profit last year was Rs 8000, which came down to only Rs 5000 this Holi. He disclosed that business of water pistols had doubled, while sale of dry colours had nose-dived. He said that maximum sale was of water pistol and most of the gulal was left unsold.
He added that nowadays people have developed aversion to gulal, as they are conscious of their looks. Hence they prefer playing with watercolours in spite of acute shortage of water.
He revealed that another change which has taken place in the way of celebration of festival is that adults older than 25 years normally avoid playing Holi and Rangpanchmi and the festival is now limited to mainly teenagers. Deepak disclosed that children up to 15 years of age celebrate the festival with verve, while older citizens normally stay indoors till late in the afternoon.
Anil Ukey, who sold colours at LIG Square for three days, revealed that his business had been on the decline. He further said that the City no longer celebrates Holi and Rangpanchmi with the same fervour.
Ankit Rathore, resident of Old Palasiya, was also of the same opinion. He said that maximum enthusiasm was witnessed at Rajwada where water drums had been put up on the night preceding Rangpanchmi.
He said than Rangpanchmi was celebrated with greater zeal in the city compared to Holi. He, however, revealed that now the duration of celebration of Rangpanchmi had been reduced to mere four hours and the main fun was from 10 am to 2 pm. He said that number of people playing Rangpanchmi had been declining continuously compared to previous years and with every passing year greater numbers of clean faces could be seen on the roads.
College students Neha Singh and Mona Saxena maintained that teenagers stopped playing with colours after 3 pm today, while in the past celebrations lasted till 5 pm.
Retired engineer Prakash Saxena and a teacher Sunil Sharma, however, maintained that the apathy is primarily due to the materialistic outlook of people and their prime objective in life is to earn money and now people have little time for fun and festivals. They added that a change in the mindset was needed.