Bhubaneswar: Celebrated otherwise with much jest and fervour, Rakhsa Bandhan, in the state capital, Monday, remained a low-key affair this year owing to spread of novel coronavirus.
Even though shops and markets remained opened following Unlock 3.0, strict Covid-19 guidelines resulted in longer queues and extended waiting periods for many denizens. While many opted to celebrate the festival digitally, others who had their kith and kin battling Covid, decided to drop this year’s celebrations.
“It was very unusual experience for me celebrating Rakhi this year,” said Purnima Rout, a resident at Bomikhal. “We would usually shop a day ahead for Rakhi and would plan places to go at evening. However, nothing was possible this time as there were travel restrictions on weekends. Besides, tying rakhis to our brothers while we all wore masks also appeared weird,” she added.
Meanwhile, Jhunia Nayak of Mancheswar who had few positive cases found in her apartment had a different story to share. While the apartment society barred entry of outsiders, Jhunia continued the age-old tradition by tying her brother rakhi outside the apartment.
However, things stood grim for 28-year old Ridhima Chaudhary whose brother was found positive two days ago. “After about six months of lockdown, my brother had planned to visit us in August for Rakhi celebrations. He had arrived here a week ago but had mild cough and fever. However, on testing he was found Covid positive and is under home quarantine,” Ridhima lamented.
Moreover, sweet shops and markets saw decent footfall following a 14-day shutdown. Although traders claimed that the sale has been relatively low as compared to other years, considerable outing has brought them relief after months of no sale.
“We sold about 20-25 kg sweets today. This sale is quite lower as compared to other years’ where we usually sell 30-35 kg. Demand for dry sweets was more. Fearing the spread of Covid, many were apprehensive of buying sweets from shops. So, we have received many online orders too,” said Sukanti Chand, who runs a sweet shop at Patia.