Dussehra is synonymous with fafda-jalebi in Gujarat, and Sunday was no exception.
However, even as residents flocked to sweet shops for their mandatory Dussehra delicacies, the overall volume of fafda-jalebi sold in the city took a beating this year.
Halwaais in the city will tell you that long queues have not translated into great income for them this year.
For, quantities of goods sold have drastically decreased. And it appears that three factors have mainly contributed to the low sales — inflation, the fact of Dussehra being a Sunday, and the presence of streetside shops that did brisk business on the occasion.
Shop owners admit that very few clients made purchases of more than Rs100 or Rs150 this year. "Several customers bought only 250 gm or 500 gm of jalebi, which is indicative of the reduced purchasing power. Inflation is the culprit," said Jaswant Patel of Jai Hind Sweets.
The average price of fafda has gone up to Rs190 per kilo from last year's Rs160. Whereas, jalebis made in pure ghee are sold at almost 20% more than last year's price.
"Our sales are down by almost 20% this year," said Ashwin Mehta of Mehta sweet shop.
Mehta also said that Sunday was a deterrent for many. "Outstation customers, who come to the city on work, often buy in bulk for their entire family. However this time, Dussehra being a Sunday, these sales didn't take place," he said.
Shop owners were also angry with 'shops' running out of make-shift tents, selling the delicacies. "If there is such a 'tent shop' close to your place, you may not come to my shop," explained Kamlesh Kandoi of the Kandoi sweet shop.
He was annoyed with the health officials of the AMC who let these businesses thrive, despite their lack of proper permission. "We have complained, but to no avail," he claimed.