City shuns holiday; 'Uthradapachil' takes over
By Express News Service | Published: 16th September 2013 10:51 AM |
The usual holiday mood was nowhere in sight in the city this Sunday. In fact, the eve of the much-awaited festival of the year, Thiruvonam, saw the last-minute shopping frenzy, ‘Uthradapachil’.
Shops, both large and small, saw a big rush of customers, especially in the Overbridge, East Fort and Chalai areas. At East Fort, street-vending was at its peak that the footpath extending from Gandhi Park to Putharikandam Maidan was occupied by vendors, mostly selling clothes. From the afternoon itself, entry into the busy Chalai Bazaar turned an uphill task as vehicles and pedestrians together created an utter mess on the road leading to the market. Similar was the situation on the road near the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple.
Yet, some city-zens felt that street-vendors had not swallowed the pavements entirely as in the previous years. “Last year, almost all footpaths in this area were occupied by vendors that even walking along this area was difficult. This time, they have become orderly, having occupied certain areas alone,” said a shop owner at East Fort.
There were announcements warning people to remain alert against thefts and approach Traffic Police in case they needed any help, rather than enquiring with strangers, and to take care of young children.
Textile shops made big business and many were literally flooded with customers that it seemed difficult to even enter them.
This earned clients for the vendors selling clothes on the roadside and in some places cashing in on the situation, there were displays claiming that ‘branded’ clothing were available for Rs 150!
Vegetable shops were next in the number of customers and a pretty good rush was seen in front of many of them.
Whereas, apprehensions over whether a drizzle or even a downpour would play spoilsport was a matter of concern for some people and they were in a hurry to reach home at the earliest. “To finish shopping and catch the very next bus to reach home is all that I need now,” said T Thankam, a homemaker who came to the city for Onam shopping from Vellayani.
The bus stations at East Fort were so crowded that those waiting for buses spilled over to the road. Whereas, those who came in their own vehicles also faced a tough time, as the main roads as well as the bylanes were choked with vehicles - two-wheelers, four-wheelers and autorickshaws.
Though facing such hardships, everyone wore an expression of satisfaction on their faces while heading home, that everything had gone well for merrymaking, which was just hours away.