Waiting for the good times

Waiting for the good times
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First Published: Thu, Sep 25 2008. 09 25 PM IST
Updated: Thu, Sep 25 2008. 09 25 PM IST
New Delhi: Business is slow nowadays at some of the busiest markets in Delhi. The recent series of blasts at the most popular markets have added to it, but the slowdown is an annual occurence. It’s the time of year when Hindus observe shraadh, a 15-day period considered inauspicious for shopping or starting any new ventures. This is the time for paying homage to deceased ancestors.
“It is a time connected with worship or remembrance of dead souls or dead persons. So this is a time when nothing new is undertaken. For example, you cannot initiate the construction of a new house in this shraadh paksha which is this fortnight, says Prof. G.C. Tripathi, a religious studies expert.
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However, the restrictions meant to be observed during shraadh mean different things to different people. There are many who follow the rules religiously but others dismiss the concept as superstition, or find it inconsistent with the modern lifestyle.
Unlike festivals that are invariably occasions for heavy spending, sales suffer during this period. Many Hindus in north India refrain from buying anything, be it a house or clothes or a vehicle.
“The dip is around 60-70%. A lot of things have affected sales this time. Bomb blasts and then shraadh. Not many people are coming to the market, says Pradeep Khanna, a dealer in consumer durable products in Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar market.
Business owners however say the annual dip in sales does not worry them too much as they are looking ahead to the festive season that begins the day after the shraadh period ends. Some are even using the down time to plan ahead for the busy season.
“We plan for the festive season. “What are the schemes coming out by the companies, what are the promotional strategies to go ahead with, what can be done to lure in more customers…all this keeps us occupied, says Khanna.
Automobile dealer Rajesh K Sanghi says, “We pretty much have the list of the customers wanting which particular colour, which particular model then we order those vehicles during the shraadh period.”
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First Published: Thu, Sep 25 2008. 09 25 PM IST