|The Build-up to Diwali
Festivity is in the air as Jaipur gears up for this most important of all Hindu festivals. The annual house-cleaning done (Diwali's a great time to find misplaced things!), the city seems to be on a shopping spree.
All sorts of make-shift stalls suddenly spring out on the pavements and the bazaars are choc-a-bloc with people. It's not the best of times for the diabetic as mithai shops display their latest temptations.
With everyone needing diyas (clay lamps) for the deepawali puja, as also to decorate their houses, potters do roaring business. So do flower-sellers who sell garlands by the dozens.
And, of course, you have every second shop selling fire-crackers. Excited children (and adults too) falling over each other to check out this years' new offerings. Hoping to make the biggest bang in their mohalla.
With the Hindu New Year commencing from Deepawali day, traditional business-men throng the Rokar-Bahi-Khata shops for their hisaab-kitaabs (account books). Unfolded, these compact-looking red books seem a mile-long!!
Back home, the ladies are even busier. Making maandana on the floor and giving final touches to their homes, which would soon see a flurry of friends and relatives dropping by to wish a "Happy Diwali"
And for those who cannot pay a personal visit, there is a mind-boggling range of cards to choose from. In fact, it's boom-time (literally speaking too) for the greeting-cards industry - akin to Christmas time in other countries.
Photo credits: Mr Rajdeep Sharma
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