The whole Shravan season (or lunar month) is devoted to Lord Shiva, especially the four Mondays of the season. A good number of people come to the Panchmukhi temple in Boring Road for the ‘Somvari puja’. This ‘Somvari puja’ comes with good deal for the small vendors who sell flowers and other stuffs for the puja. Every Monday people buy fresh flowers, and other stuff to use in temple rituals from the footpath sellers outside the temple. For one visit, a person maye spend around 100 rupees.
Once the month of Shiva ends, Monday visits will stop. The devotees usually visit the temple on Tuesdays and Saturdays. A lot of people come to this temple on these two days. The flower sellers along the footpath look forward to these two days, because on other regular days, there are fewer customers and earnings will be lower. “On those days we may sell a garland or two, or a coconut,” said a vendor.
Livelihood is a big challenge for the small vendors near the temple. The Shravan season comes with its special Mondays: one more day for them to make some decent money. They keep looking forward to the festivals so that they can earn enough money.
Sundays bring a good deal for the fruit sellers near the Panchmukhi temple, Boring road, but The Lord Shiva brings them an added bonus during the Hindu month of Shravan.
The Somvari Puja in the Shravan season pulls a lot of customers to the fruit sellers. As Monday is the day for the puja in this season. The local residents came out to buy fruits for offerings a day ahead, on Sundays, and made the day busy for the fruit vendors. The puja thali is always incomplete without fruits.
However, the monsoon season is a slow one, for general sales. The last Monday of Shravan was especially good. The sellers were happy because customers bought fruits in larger quantities in comparison to the regular days.
According to the fruit sellers near the Panchmukhi temple area, the monsoon season is not good for the business because people think that fruits they sell are not fresh enough. Fruit decay faster during the rainy season, thus customers buy less. Sometimes the sellers have to reduce their stock of fruits, because they are harder for them to sell.
This is the last week of Shravan season and just one ‘Somvari’ is left. So, they have one more Sunday when people will come out to buy fruits for the Puja.
Shrawan comes in the month of July-August. In this season most of the Bihari non-vegetarian Hindus don’t eat meat. Because of this reason ‘non-veg’ has low demand in the market.
In Boring Canal Road, Meat Bazaar, the chicken and goat meat sellers have been facing lower sales. But they are used to this because it is a yearly happening.
For the die-hard meat eaters it is good news, because the rate of meat has come down. The rate of chicken is Rs 120 from Rs 140 per kg and the rate of mutton is 450 rupees per kg, fifty rupees less than usual.
According to the shopkeeper GST has not been harmful for them.
But the joy of the non-vegetarians is short lived. Soon Shravan will be over. One week later, after ‘Sawan’, the price of meat and fish will go up.
[Newsnet Interns Yogesh , Deedar, and John]