With Raksha Bandhan just two days away (to be celebrated on August 7), colourful Rakhis have flooded the market. Sweets shops are also gearing up to sell their best mithais. Gift shops and e-commerce sites are also busy selling Rakhi gifts and shipping to their respective clients.
Besides the beautifully crafted Rakhis, delicious sweets and gifts, the decorative pooja thali, also called Rakhi thali, have caught the attention of women who want to add a touch of art and creativity to the celebrations.
Available in different shapes, sizes, colours and designs, shops are selling these at affordable prices ranging from Rs 75 to Rs 500. Made of wood, glass, acrylic sheet and steel, these thalis are embellished with pearls, coloured stones, kundan, zari and some of them are even handpainted. Meticulously handcrafted, the thalis have become quite popular in the last two years. With artistically created space for two dabbis (small bowls), sweets, Rakhi and diya, Rakhi thalis are loved by both small girls and grown-ups.
Says, Suraj Choudhari, a shop owner at Baner Road, near Balewadi Phata, who has a huge collection of Rakhis and Rakhi thalis, “When we talk about Rakhi, how can we forget Rakhi thali? The exquisitely crafted thalis are in great demand and most women think that the beauty of the celebrations is incomplete without pooja thali. We offer thalis in both extremely small sizes (the size of a palm) with only space for kumkum and Rakhi to bigger versions which have arrangement for rice, kumkum, coconut, diya, Rakhi and sweets.” Choudhari has kept the price range between Rs 150 and Rs 400.
Mostly available in colours like red, yellow, green, blue, golden, the thalis have themes like peacock, Ganesha, Aum, floral, etc. Avani Shah, entrepreneur and city-based designer who makes handmade and customised items like torans, chocolates, diyas and Rakhi thalis and sells them through her page www.facebook.com/pearlywrap, says, “Each piece is handmade with love and dedication. The thalis come in round, square or oval shapes and can be customised. Although I make them in wooden, acrylic sheet, these days cut work and laser-cut thalis are mostly in demand. Most thalis have the space for all the items needed for Rakhi celebrations, however, I keep the budget of customers in mind while making them.”
Shah has been designing thalis since the past four years and has kept the price range somewhere between Rs 250 and Rs 500.
Another home-based businesswoman Dipti Kapadia has a team of karigars (craftsmen) who makes Rakhi thalis and sells the product through Facebook groups. “These thalis, except the wooden ones, are easy to maintain. All you need is a wet cloth to wipe them clean. These thalis are not only beautiful but economical too ranging between Rs 110 and Rs 500. Not all thalis have a space for diyas but we customise them to make them with tea candles,” says Kapadia. She makes thalis with wood and acrylic sheets, which are light and handy.
Aundh Road-based shopkeeper Ramesh Jindal, who brings these thalis from his hometown Rajasthan, says, “With people becoming aesthetically conscious, they want fancy thalis. Gone are the days when girls/ women would place their Rakhis in steel plates. This has seen a rise in demand for embellished thalis over the past few years. They are colourful and vibrant, hence go well with the festive mood.”