After poll, it's pepa to warm cockles of hearts

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, April 12: An Assembly election comes after five years but the Rongali Bihu comes every year. How come an election mar Bihu?

Free from the hustle and bustle of the Assembly election in the State, people in Assam are now busy with the Rongali Bihu. Markets are seen crowded as the people had little time buy commodities before the elections.

In fact, in Assam Bihu leaves none untouched. The melodious sound of the pepa warms the cockles of all hearts, of young and old as well, and makes them sway at the staccato of the dhol.

However, the festivity has also made people feel the pinch. Guwahati has been flooded with handloom gamosas from Sualkuchi, Ramdiya, North Guwahati, Subanshah, Kokoya, etc., areas. The gamosas have also been able to woo customers. Prices of gamosas range from Rs 100 to Rs 350 a piece. The prices of pat and muga clothes have gone up by 40 per cent from what it was last year. The price of a pair of pat mekhela-chador ranges from Rs 3,500 to Rs 28,000 and that of muga from Rs 5,000 to Rs 35,000.

Jagaran, a sale outlet of Artfed, has 60,000 pieces of gamosas in stock for sale. After selling gamosas worth Rs 40 lakh last year, they have set their target at Rs 60 lakh this year. By now, they have sold 5,000 pieces of japis. Mihir Kalita, in-charge of Jagaran outlet at Ambari in the city, said: “With the Assembly polls in the State coinciding with the Rongali Bihu, the sale of gamosas and japis is very high this year.”  PB Chetry, a sale assistant of Pragjyotika Assam State Emporium, an outlet under the State Handloom and Textile Department, said: “It’s the poll that has increased the sale of our commodities this year. We have still 1,000 pieces of gamosas in stock.”  

Japis mostly come from lbari. Their prices range from Rs 30 and Rs 6,000. Pepas of buffalo horn made in Dumnichoki cost Rs 1,200 a piece (single) and Rs 2,500 (double). While a gogo costs Rs 120, a hutuli costs Rs 60. Flute costs Rs 100 to Rs 150 a piece.

Fakeries are not always for faking the funk. Fake jeweleries are the ones that dazzle a Bihu dancer on the stage. While dhol madholi, jonbiri, dugdugi, japimala etc., costs Rs 100 a piece, a pair of gamkharu costs Rs 100 to Rs 150. A cluster of orchid (kopou) costs Rs 30 to Rs 50.

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