With a variety of dishes to whet one’s appetite after the Ramzan fast is broken, there is something for all five senses.
The month of Ramzan seems to be presenting a feast for all senses. With a variety of dishes to whet one’s appetite after the fast is broken to different fragrances to tease the olfactory senses, there is something for all five senses.
The sale of caps and fragrances are pegged at a high this time of the year. To cater to the increasing demand, there are many shops that spring up on pavements and by the side of the roads near prayer halls. Most of these shops seem to be selling attar/ittar, non-alcoholic and natural perfume oils.
Small vials of the sweet smelling oils are in much demand. The price of these vials, with a capacity of just 3 ml, varies from Rs. 30 to Rs. 150. The price depends on the long-lasting nature of the perfume oils, says Zameer Ahmed, who sells an assortment of goods outside the Sultan Shah Masjid in Shivajinagar.
Explaining the good qualities of attar, Sultan Khan, who also sells perfume oils, said attar helps keep one energised and fresh.
“Since many people fast during the month of Ramzan, they may feel tired and weak. It is said that attar keeps one fresh, maintains body temperature and kills hunger.”
The most sought-after fragrances are musk, Jannatul Firdause (also known as king of attar), Falak and Kacchi Gali, mainly because of their long-lasting nature.
Mohammed Yusuf, another shopkeeper, claimed that the sale of attar doubles during the festive season.
“It is not just Muslims who buy attar. Since attar is non-alcoholic and concentrated, many people seem to prefer it to perfumes having an alcoholic base.”
There are many takers for surma, which is similar to kohl. With healing properties being its unique selling point, the sale of surma has seen a sharp increase. Javed Saheb, who sells knick-knacks in Shivajinagar, said surma is a fine powder which is applied on the eyes with a thin stick.
“Surma is the powder of a burnt hill in Saudi Arabia. It is known for its medicinal qualities. Known to make the eyes look beautiful, it does not fade or run like kohl. This is one of the reasons for its increased popularity,” he says.