CHENNAI:T Nagar continues to retain the top slot when it comes to favourite shopping destinations, especially during Aadi, in the city. Be it the blistering heat or heavy rainfall, weather conditions have not deterred customers from thronging shops in the area.
Aadi Perukku or Ashad, as the festival is called in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, is a Hindu Tamil festival celebrated on the 18th day between mid July and mid August. It marks a tribute to water resources. Though Aadi month is not considered auspicious, but a glance at T Nagar’s bustling market, will make a naysayer think otherwise.
“This is the time of the year we get good quality clothes at cheaper rates. We save a few clothes that we buy now for Deepavali as well,” says L Parvathy, a regular customer at RMKV Silks. Though there has been a rush of customers hopping in and out of the textile showrooms, V Murugan, who works at Saravana Stores, says that the crowd is far less compared to that of last year. “Last year, during this time, we had a footfall of at least 20,000 a day. But this year, the store seems empty. We hope the number catches up soon next week,” he says. With stores in the area offering discounts upto 70 per cent, shoppers are going all out this sale season. Munna Snehal, a homemaker, had planned what to buy during the Aadi sale weeks in advance. “My favourite stores are Pothys and Chennai Silks. If I go there in the morning, it takes me at least six hours to come back home,” she says. Her friend Vedhika S, a school teacher, says, “We go in with a bunch of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes, but when we come back, we will be counting coins.”
However, Hussain, an auto driver, says, “This is nothing. Usually all vendors and hawkers are so busy selling clothes and gifts to customers that they won’t have time to sit idle. I think the sale will pick up.”
To manage the crowd and keep troublemakers at bay, city police has made arrangements. “We have deployed policemen in plain clothes in the area to keep a watch on the movement of the crowd. Besides, we have increased the beats in the shopping hub to ensure smooth movement of the crowd and to respond in case of crisis,” said DCP (T Nagar) P Saravanan. “We have started installing video surveillance cameras to monitor the crowd movement, and the project is likely to get over soon,” he added.
“We are taking stringent action against pickpockets by booking them in tougher sections of IPC that make it harder for them to get bail,” said another senior police official.