GUWAHATI, Oct 26 – Forget about inflationary worries, people in and around Guwahati had the money to burn this Diwali, be it in fireworks or in gambling.
This evening there was no noticeable drop in the sound of crackers in the city, and people were seen purchasing various types of fireworks as in earlier years. In Fancy Bazar there was a huge last-minute footfall of customers. In other places too, there were no dearth of buyers in stalls selling fireworks.
Sumit Jalan, a businessman at Fancy Bazar, said, “Yes, prices have gone up, but once in a year Diwali requires that we get some sparkle in our lives.”
The situation was not much different in other parts of the city where sellers of fireworks did brisk business. Sanju, a young businessman with a stall in Ganeshguri revealed that initial sales were low, but they picked up yesterday and today. “The cost at source has increased by around 50 per cent, and the retail prices have shot up too. Still buyers are coming,” he remarked.
Reports from various parts of the city also revealed the massive influx of Chinese ornamental lights. In various forms, these have proved irresistible to the customers because of their low cost. These illuminations have proved popular among high-rises and business establishments apart from small households.
A dark side of the festival of lights has been revealed by this Diwali. Even though the police are keeping a watch, gambling in various formats have been reported in many places in Guwahati. In the heart of the city, some hotel rooms have been booked where gambling is taking place. Such activities have also been reported from some well-known clubs, which have seen an increase in visitors in the last few days.