The Diwali season is upon us, but for some reason or another, the usual hustle and bustle that one experiences during this time is missing this year.
To be honest, the festival time in Delhi start from sometime around October, Durga Puja and Navratri start it and it lasts up until Bhai dooj.
If one wants to experience the best of Delhi, then visiting around this time is the perfect time to do so, since the entire city is buzzing with the feel of upcoming festivals and that too all in one neat row.
This year though, that excitement, that smell in the air and more are missing. Here are some ways that we know something is the problem:
1. There Is Little To No Traffic
Not that the roads are completely empty, it is Delhi after all, but the hour-long traffics and it seeming as if all the cars in Delhi are out on the road is not something we are seeing this time.
The last major traffic jam we saw was around the Durga Puja and that too just once, after that the roads have their usual traffic, but even that does not seem like much.
2. No Gifting
The reduced traffic on roads these days is indicative of the fact that people are not visiting each other’s houses and exchanging gifts.
Exchanging Diwali or festival gifts starts from at least 7-10 days before Diwali. The recurrent dropping by of relatives, friends and even acquaintances with the standard Diwali gifts of Indian sweets, dry fruits or chocolates, seems to be missing this year.
Usually, by the time Diwali ends, we have an impressive amount of such boxes which we then use to distribute to our guards, maids, and any other helpers and all.
3. No Parties
If one thinks the low enthusiasm for the festival season is present only in the middle class, then think again. Even the upper middle class and upper class are experiencing a dull festive season with no card parties or get-togethers that are usual during this time of the year.
No card parties could also be taken as a sign that businesses are not doing well, and thus people do not have enough for frivolous or luxury spending.
4. The Retail Sector Seems To Be Down
Perhaps the one that I see the most affected by the dull Diwali season would be the retail sector. Whether you take the big and expensive malls, where no crazy sales or Diwali celebrations are occurring or the medium sector wherein small shops that are usually filled with customers buying Diwali decorations, beautiful idols of Ganesh and Laxmi, all dull and empty even though the sales dynamics are quite different both the places.
You can even take the small bazaars like Monday or Tuesday Market meant for the lower income group, are also strangely dry of the hoards of people visiting it, meaning that even they seem to be having a dull festival season.
This all is representing the sad state of retailers that have perhaps been hit the hardest by first demonetization and then the recently introduced GST.
The economic depression that we seem to be experiencing has really taken away the high that used to fill the air from October till November end every year.
Not only is no one buying or gifting but even the overall enthusiasm of people seems to be at an all-time low.
The reason why I am bringing this up is because I am hardly seeing any kind of celebration around me in any sector of people. Not just the poor or the rich, practically every person seems to be affected by the economic changes made to our country.
This is quite a common talk between people having informal conversations, I am sure everyone can connect and relate to this point, and given how dull and dim the festival time has been this year, perhaps it is important to bring these observations out in the mainstream media.
In a way, this is a great mirror to how GST and demonetization has affected the normal lives of people, and how the given turbulent economic situation has brought down many small, medium and even big businesses so much so that no one truly seems to be in a celebratory mood.
Image Credits: Google Images