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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Quirky rakhis are the rage this year on Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan 2019: Millennials’ demand for quirky rakhis, or those that complement the wearer’s personality, has left vendors scrambling to compete with online businesses.

more-lifestyle Updated: Aug 15, 2019 07:53 IST
Ruchika Garg
Ruchika Garg
Hindustan Times, Delhi
Raksha Bandhan 2019: The festival honours the love shared between siblings.
Raksha Bandhan 2019: The festival honours the love shared between siblings. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

In the times of quirky and unique, the rakhis in the market aren’t any different. What used to be modest threads with the odd bead and sequin a while back have undergone a lot of change. What you see today on stalls and pop-ups are no less than adornments, complete with metallic lettering and snazzy motifs. And boy, are the sellers feeling the heat.

“Earlier, our rakhi varieties would be fixed, bas colour change ho jata tha, ya ek do moti idhar udhar lga diye, bas! Par ab toh alag hi pressure hai market mein kuchh naya lane ka. Kuchh aisa jo aaj kal ke youth ko achcha lagey,” says Shyam Mittal, whose family has been in the rakhi-making business for the past six decades.

Well, looks like the pressure has yielded results. A stroll in the wholesale market of Old Delhi is proof enough. The exciting range aimed at millennials includes rakhis with cool one-liners, miniature bikes and cars, sunglasses and even moustaches! And guess which rakhis are probably the most popular? It’s a variant that says ‘taur naal chhadha’ or ‘single, with swag’.


“This year, we chose cool words like ‘bro’, ‘swag’, ‘PUBG’ and also logos of BMW cars, bikes, moustaches, sunglasses, coffee and others icons, to come out with something trendy. We have sold out our ‘taur naal chhadha’ (in the Gurmukhi script) and have refilled our stock with rakhis with this phrase. Some customers are also asking for rakhis embellished with miniature coffee mugs, beer mugs, car keys and other stuff. They might have seen them online,” says Imran, who has been selling rakhis in Sadar Bazaar for the past 35 years.


Cheery Singhal, a visitor, says, “My brother says he is single but he is not. To make him realise that he should confess to me that he has a girlfriend , I will tie him a ‘taur naal chhadha’ rakhi. Kya pata embarrass hoke hi sach bata de!”

Despite traders’ attempts to adapt to changing times, the rakhi business at shops seem to have taken a hit because of the internet. Mittal adds, “Ab logon ke pass paise ki kami nahin hai, time ki kami hai, isiliye jahan pehle 10,000 ka maal bikta tha, wahan ab 5,000 ka hi reh gaya hai. Log mostly online hi mangwa lete hai, wahan to variety bhi zyada hai. Baki jo hain, wo online site se le ke photo dikhate hain ki ye wali rakhi chahiye.”

And customisation seems to be the flavour of the day. Smita, a visitor from Khanpur, says, “My brother is a gym freak. He can miss out on anything, but not his fitness regime. I want a rakhi that symbolises this. Maybe a rakhi designed with dumbbell, a protein shake [box] or something. He loves bikes, too. I would buy either of them; if not here, then online.”

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First Published: Aug 14, 2019 15:28 IST

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