This post is Women's special!
|Ranganathan street, T.nagar, off Usmaan road, where things can be bought at very cheap rates!|
Deepawali shopping had started a couple of weeks back and the above picture is the scene in Ranganathan Street, off Usman Road, in T.Nagar, Chennai! The new lot of sarees are displayed from Mahalaya Amaavaasai before Deepawali in all the shops in T.Nagar. Here, in Tamil Nadu, Amaavaasai (New moon day)is an auspicious day to start anything good. Next day is called 'kari naal' and it is a bad day to start anything. The shops are filled with new sarees from Amaavaasai. We should not go to the shops looking for good sarees a few days before and a couple of weeks after Deepawali! You will be disappointed!
|Usman Road, T.Nagar|
|This is one of the oldest shops in T.Nagar. This picture was not taken during Deepawali time!|
Sundari Silks is in North Usmaan Road (All other shops are mostly in South Usmaan Road). This area is a bit away from the other famous shops and so a bit peaceful area for shopping. They have got car parking area which is a big plus point. Kumaran and Nalli Silks also have got car parking area, but Saravana Store and one more shop, Rmkv, haven't got car parking area. I don't know how the govt. allowed the huge multi storied stores to do business in this crowded area! It must be money, as usual!
|Normal day shopping in Usmaan Road!|
Some shops provide chairs for the old and male customers to sit and wait with children while the women members shop for their sarees. Some shops don't have them and I heard comments about some people avoiding those shops! It is not easy for men and children to wait for hours, standing.
Most of the shops have got salesmen who had been with them for many years and they judge the customers well and show sarees. They work in shifts a few days prior to Deepawali. On weekends - next two week ends - the shops will be open from 6 am itself, I was told and sell upto midnight! The salesmen are given bonus and a couple of days leave after Deepawali. Some shops never close!
The interiors of most of the shops are beautiful, esp. rmkv. Nalli is still maintaining the old look, which is nice.
Tulsi Silks in Alwarpet and Radha Silk Emporium in Mylapore are our favourite shops outside Usmaan Road shops. They too sell exclusive sarees without much difference in rates.
We, in my mother's place don't give much importance to Deepawali (Janmaashtami is important for us - Kannadigas). My relatives don't buy new dresses for this festival. But in Tamilnadu, wearing new dress is very important on Deepawali day after the traditional oil bath in the morning. Last year we had started our trip to Munnar on the Deepawali afternoon. I saw everyone on the road, even in small villages, wearing new dresses and all of them had the happy look on their faces, esp. the children! My father used to save money in R.D. every month for using for Deepawali purchases for all of us (we had been following Tamilnadu customs after we shifted to Chennai from Udupi!)! It might not have been easy for a middle class family man to spend a chunk of the savings at one time. But the fathers would do anything to see happiness in their children's faces (We were 5 children!)! We still remember those days when we wore new clothes and went to our relatives' houses to do namaskaar to the elders and collect money! What is your shopping experience in your area?!
Happy Deepawali to all my friends here!
P.S. (30.10.12): The only draw back in T.Nagar shopping is most of the shops don't have clean toilets. People come to these shops, esp. for wedding sarees, from far off places and shop the whole day. They come in groups. Last week we had been to Kumaran Silks and were waiting for the lift at the ground floor. The stench from the toilets nearby was sickening.
The quality of food at the Woodlands hotel has deteriorated. Saravana Bhavan is good, but is always crowded. One more hotel named BKR, which is a good and neat hotel has come up opposite old GRT in South Usmaan Road. They have got car parking facility too! This is our favourite place for lunch nowadays! One more plus point is, the toilets are clean here!
Picture courtesy: The Hindu and google!