Diwali is the most popular festival celebrated in India. Other than sweets, clothes and prayers it is the bursting of crackers to celebrate the victory of good over evil, make this festival of lights all the more interesting. Chakras, Flower Pots, Rockets, Sparklers, Bijilis, Bombs and a whole lot of fancy novelties that can lit the sky – you have so much to choose, but then almost all of them have a common tag, that is “Made in Sivakasi“. This small industrial town in the state of Tamil Nadu accounts for more than 90% of the Indian fireworks production. Having lived there for more than 20 years, I thought of sharing my knowledge with this post, which’ll be like a “Dummies guide to the Dumeel world”.
As with every product, the price difference from top brands to the relative unknown ones is very huge. A box of flower pots can cost about Rs. 80 in the top brand and 60 in the medium and you can get it even for Rs. 40. As you are directly playing with fire here, it’s better to go for a quality product than a cheap one. For those who believe in the best, Standard Fireworks (Peacock brand) , Kaliswari Fireworks (cock brand) , Ayyan Fireworks (Bunny brand) are the options to choose. Next in line would be the medium range products from fireworks like Anil, We Two and Kuil. There are also niche players who are specialized in specific products. Sony Fireworks and Nayagi fireworks have some good products in the aerial and fancy night attractions categories.
These tips below will be a helpful guide to you in cracker shopping.
1)MRP is Maximum Retail Price – Don’t confuse this with the market price. Normally prices of the crackers will be available 20 to 30% lesser than the MRP in North India and about 50% lesser in South India. There will be a separate price list maintained by the shoppers for retail market. Check it out before you buy.
2)Gift yourself a Gift Box – Gift boxes are not only for the people who are interested in presenting gifts to others. This is one good option for all those interested in getting as much as variety in low prices. For example, a normal flower pots box will have 10 pieces, but in gift boxes alone you can get a 5 piece box. With this companies will be able to provide more items in gift boxes. If you thought you are too old to play with crackers , you can buy Children’s special gift boxes which are available in the market , specially packed for kids.
3)Advantage early shoppers – Shopkeeper’s won’t be able to spend much time with you to answer all your queries in the last minute rush. New products can go out of stock, particularly if you are thinking about buying quality branded gift boxes, you have to act early as there will be only limited stocks available in the market. Also prices will be slightly raised in the last 2 days before diwali. So it’s better to buy atleast a week before.
There are some aerial specialty products like Mystical Night, Jasmine Drops, Golden Dawn available in the market. But is the name and product package info alone enough for you to buy that? Won’t it be nice if someone give you a free demo so that you can understand the features before buying? Standard Fireworks , now has cracker functionality CD’s available in it’s depots, where you can see the display of crackers and other fancy night attractions and then decide upon buying it. It’s a great idea and customers will benefit a lot, if more fireworks start following this strategy.
Last year some people have decided to refrain from bursting crackers, to show their protest against child labour in Gandhian way, as they felt children are employed in the fireworks for low wages. But child labour in Sivakasi fireworks is a myth, crackers here are made for the children and not by the children. Tough Govt. regulations have changed this scenario years ago and child labours are not employed in any of the registered fireworks. Industry is now moving towards mechanizing the whole manufacturing process. If you are still not convinced, there are crackers available with ‘No child labour’ stickers, you can go for that brands and enjoy diwali without feeling guilty.
One big problem with bursting the crackers is the kind of damage it will cause to the environment due to noise and air pollution. There are some low decibel crackers available in the market, opting that would be a good option as it will keep the noise pollution in check. But fireworks industry hasn’t yet come up with products that do not pollute the air and are totally smoke free. It’s high time for the cracker industry to leap ahead and produce quality products that are environmentally safe and visually entertaining also.