Kumar Rajiv Nayan
Ara: With the commencement of ‘Nahai Khai’ on November 4, the first day of four- day Chhath festival, puja fever has gripped the people of Bhojpur district, who were on purchasing spree at different market of the district set up specially for the purpose. The Chhath Puja starts with Nahai Khai followed by Lohan on second day, Arghya to the setting sun on third day followed by Arghya to rising sun on the fourth day.
The businessmen have set up makeshift stalls everywhere selling fruits like coconut, apple, bananas, pineapple, guava, ginger, water fruit (singhara), gourd, radish, ghaghar nimbu, custard apple, sugarcane and other necessary items required for the puja. People thronged the shops at Sheesh Mahal Chowk, Gola, Mirganj, Jail road, Shivganj, Station road, Maulabagh, and other village markets in the district for purchasing essential items.
On November 4 morning heavy rush of people was seen at Gola road and Gopali Chowk at Ara for purchasing kalsoop, daura, banana trees, wood of mango trees, earthen chulhas along with other items. As the demand for daura, kalsoop and fruits has multiplied in view of the festival, prices of these items skyrocketed. The prices of puja materials vary as per the size and availability in the market.
The price of daura ranges from Rs 120 to Rs 150, ghaghar nimbu from Rs 20 to Rs 50, apple from Rs 80 to Rs 150 per kilogram, kalsoop from Rs 100 to Rs 175 a pair. Coconut from Assam, Keral, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are being sold here. Melodious Chhath songs of Malini Awasthi, Renu Dubey, Sharda Sinha, Alka Yagnik and other local singers rent the air.