Customers continued to throng stalls of traditional accessories set up at various markets of the city in the third ashra (10 days) of Ramazan. The stalls that had remained opened till midnight during the week planned to remain open till as late as 4am on chaand raat.
Offering a range of accessories, including glass and metal bangles, other jewellery and mehndi, almost all stalls offered a sitting place for those accompanying the customers.
Temporary Eid stalls set up in Liberty Market’s Dupatta Gali and Defence’s Y-Block Market, however, drew the most customers despite, offering the accessories at higher prices than most markets in the city.
Shehnaz, who has set up a stall in Liberty Market for three years, told The Express Tribune that the crowd around Eid time had always been the same. She said she had charged Rs75 to Rs100 per hand for a henna design.
“The prices depend on the design and the amount of henna needed,” she said.
She said she had always received the most customers on the last day of Ramazan.
Huda Khan, who said she visited the stalls in Liberty Market every year, agreed with Shehnaz.
“The point of getting your hands dyed on the last day of Ramazan is to make sure it stays longer,” she said.
Explaining the latest trends, Shehnaz said heavy designs were popular last year. This year, she said, lighter patterns were in demand. She said a chemical mehndi took much fancy of her customers this year.
“It dries within 15 minutes,” said Yasmeen, who had offered a mehndi stall at Liberty Market.
This year, stalls in Defence Y-Block, were set up next to Pot Pourri, lining both sides of the road. Stalls in the close-by H-block Market also seemed to attract a sizeable crowd.
Shaista Rehman, a resident of DHA Phase-V, said the prices were definitely higher than last year, “but buyers have little choice.” She said Eid celebrations were incomplete without bangles and mehndi. She said she had been shopping at the H-Block Market for years. This year, she said, she had noticed that prices had nearly doubled.
Shahzada Nasir, who has had a bangles stall at H-Block Market for the past six days, said the business was doing well. Nasir, who has been setting up such stalls for more than three years, did not agree there had been a steep price hike. He said the prices depended on the designs and quality of the products.
“We were offering bangles as cheap as Rs35 a set,” he said. Nasir explained that this year metal bangles and a new design, popularly known as ‘sunflower’ and priced at Rs150 to Rs200 per set, had been in high demand.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2012.
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