Shopkeepers could barely be heard over the din on Monday evening. “People prefer display items over noisy ones. We have 100 Shot, which explodes in a flash of multi-coloured lights. It costs Rs 1,500-3,000,” said Abedin Bandookwala, owner of the 80-year-old K Fidaally & Co store at Mandvi. Smaller versions of the firecracker, like the 40 Shot, are also popular. Children continue to prefer the flower pot, sparklers and ‘colour pencils’. Smoke-filled items, like pellets which rise like a black snake and leave a permanent sooty patch on the ground, have steadily been shown the door.
There were similar trends at Virsen Laxman store at Jakeria Road in Malad (W). “Public awareness has grown about soundless crackers. We have fireworks that make little or no sound but throw beautiful lights. Sparklers and chakris are staple buys,” said owner, Ketan Honrao.
Shopkeepers earn 15-20% more during Diwali. “Festive celebrations are no longer restricted to a community. Diwali is celebrated by all,” said Abdullah Ghia of Essabhai Fireworks.