GUWAHATI, Jan 31 - Slogging away the entire year to excel in their studies, students await anxiously for one day in a year when looking good is perhaps as important as the grades they score.
It�s that day of the year again when youngsters do not leave anything to chance � from deciding on the dress to getting the right hairdo � or they would miss out on that perfect look for Saraswati Puja.
Like in the previous years, beauty saloons, boutiques and jewellery shops were the most happening places on the eve of Saraswati Puja today as the youngsters were busy with the last-minute beauty care, giving their best foot forward.
�This year, there is an unprecedented craze for hand-woven traditional dresses, particularly mekhela chador. You can say there are no takers for sarees, salwars, churidars at all,� says Ratan Agarwalla, a trader. �Despite the effects of demonetisation, sales have risen considerably over the last fortnight,� he said.
Nurul Ali, a tailoring shop owner said he had to refuse three/four customers daily due to the overload of work. �We are flooded with orders. For the last fifteen days or so, I am delivering on an average 20 dresses. The workload has more than doubled compared to a normal day,� Ali said. The mekhela chador is in huge demand, he said.
Another tailoring shop owner Rana Sutradhar said in the last fortnight, he has delivered over 300 traditional dresses, besides some 200 other designer costumes. In fact, some tailoring outlets have sanctioned a few days� leave for their workers from Thursday due to the over-work in the last few days.
Beauty saloons too are doing brisk business. �The rush has increased over the years. It is not just the students, but even women, including mothers, visit parlours and try to relive their Saraswati Puja days. My clinic has been packed over the last few days,� Rashmi Baishya, owner of two beauty clinics said. Most of the requests are for hair treatment and facial. Arup Kalita, hair dresser at a L�Or�al parlour, said all the major works, particularly hair treatment and facial, were done on Sunday.
�We registered sales of over Rs 70,000 on Sunday while on a normal day it is around Rs 20,000. On Wednesday, people will come for minor make-ups� but we expect to do business of around Rs 40,000 on that day. The parlour will be packed from 10 am to around 12.30 in the noon,� he said, adding that the footfall on the eve of Saraswati Puja is four to five times more than that of a normal day. �Boys too come for hair treatment and other beauty makeup,� he added.
Kuntala Goswami, who runs a jewellery outlet, said the rush of youths was on for more than 15 days. �The young girls are generally asking for pearl-made designs for a contemporary look and bigger size earnings. While on a normal day we sell five sets, before Saraswati Puja it may go up to 12/15 sets,� she added.