A dash for Deepavali goodies
Tomorrow is Deepavali and NATASHA MEAH (email@example.com) headed to Little India to catch what shoppers were up to on the last weekend before the Festival of Lights.
Serangoon Road exploded into a riot of colours over the weekend.
People scurried to grab decorations, new outfits, sweets, and adorned their palms with beautiful henna designs ahead of the festivities tomorrow.
Buskers stood in front of Tekka Centre, a tabla player carried on with his solo act as some passers-by stopped to listen.
Past the entrance and up to the second storey of Tekka Centre, bright traditional Indian outfits hung in front of shops.
A 45-year-old housewife, who wanted to be known only as Madam Manjula, was trying to get the best price for a simple cotton top she planned to wear to her parents' home tomorrow.
Opting out of the bejewelled midriff-baring numbers popular among teens, she said: "Grand and shiny is not my taste. I just wanted something simple and comfortable."
Madam Manjula (left) and Ms Vanessa Kay were part of the crowd who thronged Tekka Centre over the weekend to get their Deepavali outfits. TNP PHOTOS: EDWIN FONG
Another shopper, Ms Vanessa Kay, 44, was eager to grab an outfit and leave the crowded rows of shops.
The international school teacher, who moved here from New Zealand about four years ago, was buying an outfit for her school's celebrations.
She said she will be going to a friend's home on Monday evening for dinner.
When asked what she likes about the traditional Indian suits, she said: "The vibrant colours and how feminine I feel in them. I loved it when I went to India... Everyone looked beautiful."
Deepavali decorations at Little India.
Mr Bryan Alessandro Anderson, 28, owner of St Anne's Fashion, said the trend this year was floral and cotton suits.
But he said there was a dip in sales.
"The crowd's not like last year's which was better," he said.
"Last year, (Deepavali) was right after the Hari Raya period so the crowd was constant. This year, we had a nearly two-month break between celebrations so that's why it's very slow now."
A representative at Apollo Goldsmiths in Buffalo Road agreed.
He said: "Mostly every year, they will buy gold for Deepavali.
"But this year there's a drop of maybe 20 to 30 per cent. They used to buy a lot but now the price of gold is high so they buy less."
BODY ART: Madam Elizabeth Mathavan, one of the first to offer henna services at the bazaar, has got lots of competition now.
A shopkeeper selling decorative pieces at Campbell Lane.
Queue for sweets at a shop.
Moghul Sweet Shop had a long line of people who wanted to buy sweets.