GUWAHATI, April 12 � On Tuesday, Jatin Deka, a vendor at Chadmari was yawning wide to shake off the lethargy of waiting for customers. He had been sitting idle for hours with his assorted items like Bora rice, Komal Chawl, turmeric, etc. in his usual spot on the Chandmari pavement, but luck did not favour him.
Just two days to go for the much loved Rongali Bihu, and the Guwahatians are yet to go on their shopping spree to celebrate the occasion with traditional fanfare. Though this Bihu is also about presenting a gift to express affection for dear ones, most of the shops including the high-end malls were wearing a deserted look with only a few customers and more employees.
Deka said in a very subdued voice that the Assembly election that concluded yesterday has affected the spirit of Bihu. �Transportation problem is one of the main reasons for lack of customers,� said Deka.
He was right. The general public has been facing a lot of hardships in the last few days as most of the public mode of transport had been used for election purpose and till this day, the few city buses that have been plying on the streets of the capital city were seen jam-packed. Even the rickshaw pullers have gone missing from the city adding to the woes of the commuters.
�Tomorrow is Uruka. I am hoping that people will turn up to buy the traditional items that are considered a must to observe the festival,� said Deka.
Another trader, Umesh Choudhury who puts up a stall to sell Bihuans at Chandmari on the festive occasions was also a bit disappointed with his business. �The elections are over, but it seems that everyone is tired and not bothered about Bihu,� he said, adding that lack of public mode of transport is behind the sparse crowd at all the markets.
Business at Ganeshguri, Fancy Bazar too have not picked up as expected by the traders. The traders are all waiting for tomorrow.
A resident of Borah Service, Jonali Changmai said that she is waiting for Uruka to do her shopping. �It is impossible to get inside a city bus these days. So I have not been able to do my Bihu shopping. By tomorrow I am expecting to see more city buses on the streets,� she said.