IMPHAL Nov 7: The Ningol Chakouba fever is at its peak today with thousands of shoppers thronging the market places for their last minute scan and purchase of gifts.
The main market places like the Khwairamband Bazaar remained filled to the brim with shoppers either shopping for fresh fish or else last minute discounts on gift commodities.
All this was despite the Thangal Bazar remaining closed on account of Sunday holiday policy of the business community.
Many small vendors selling myriad goods along the busy streets of the Khwairamband bazaar however did all they could to fill in the vacuum.
Shoppers on a last minute shopping spree caused the streets jams with pedestrians left with no means than to move at a snailâ€™s pace.
Everywhere, heavy bargaining between shoppers and the shop owners were seen in the markets.
Dhaneshwari Laishram, a house wife told IFP â€œ The prices have gone up this year, electronic items, clothes etc were reasonable compared to past years years.
Nevertheless, we are obliged to buy gifts for the Ningol Chakouba festival as this is the most important festival for us.â€ She further stated.
There is no time to check the proper prices of the commodities and hece haggling is the easiest method she said elaborating: â€œThe shopkeepers know that we have to buy on compulsion and take advantage â€œ.
A hotel owner Kim Maibam stated that business is poor compared to last year. â€œSales have gone down, I used to make around Rs 3000 profit from the sale proceeds of these items, but he does not expect that much.â€
Mixed opinions could be had from both shoppers and shop-owners alike.Fish, one the most important ingredients of the festival is selling like hotcakes.
Even ewith prices of every available variety of fish soaring up in the market and local small time vendors. The price of local Rhou escalated upto Rs 180 per kg and Sareng, one of the most preferred by the fish lovers of the state is sold at a whopping Rs 310 per kg while to buy one kg of the local Porong fish variety one has to spend about Rs 300.
Grass Carp which is regarded as one of the cheapest variety of fish in the state is sold for Rs 150. The market remains vibrant as fish vendors still did business till late in the night and is expected to carry on without break till the morning.