Diwali is the busiest time for these sellers at Dadar market -- the heart of Mumbai. But because of coronavirus-induced restrictions and booming online sales, sellers are waiting for buyers. For them, this Diwali may not be a happy one.
Jankabai, 60, a resident of Vashi, the satellite city of Mumbai, comes to Dadar every year to sell lanterns during Diwali. It is a season for brisk business, but this time, she is worried. There are no customers, she said.
"Business was good last year. But this year, there is no business at all. No one is coming to buy anything," said Janakabai Kale, with sadness in her voice.
Sitting across her was Dyandev Gurav, another lantern-seller who echoed the sentiment. He is in the business for the last 20 years, but says the situation is unprecedented this time.
"Since morning, only three customers bought lantern. Normally by this time, 10-20 people a day would have visited," he informed.
Every year, Diwali is the busiest time for Dadar market in Mumbai. It sees massive footfall in the 10 days leading up to Diwali. Small traders and roadside vendors cash in on the festive cheer doing business worth crores.
Hoping sales would pick up closer to the festival, Raju Gupta, who sells rangolis and lamps, bought material worth Rs 10,000. Now, he is extremely anxious.
"Earlier, Diwali was good," Raju said. "This time, the conditions are bad. I don't even have 25 per cent of business. Earlier, every day I used sell goods worth Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 but this time I am hardly seeing business of Rs 800 a day. How will I spend my Diwali now?" he added.
Even the cloth shops are seeing a 75 to 80 per cent drop in business.
Dinkar Gawde, shopkeeper doing business for 40 years said, "Earlier, a lot of customers used to come during Diwali. This year there are no trains hence no customers".