Mangaluru: With the City showing some signs of rains, and that the monsoon season is on its way pretty soon, you can see street vendors already dealing raincoats/umbrellas who have set up their businesses all around the city. It is during this time of the year, a bunch of umbrella sellers from North India storm in tonMangaluru and carry on their umbrella selling trade on street sides. With rainy season following close on its heels, it’s time to get your rain gear out from your closets or buy new ones before you get wet and sick !
From the lookout, the rains seem to be fast approaching. Needless to emphasize, that calls for a change in tact with regard to dressing. But not many geezers get this. Nothing looks awful like a guy, drenched by the rain, with his shirt stuck to his back like it’s another layer of skin. It simply shows lack of preparedness. Worse, one wouldn’t be wrong to ask: “What kind of man has no umbrella, jacket or raincoat when its pouring out there?” Few days when it was pouring heavily, I witnessed a bunch of people walking/riding on bikes without any rain protective gear.
With that kind of question, you don’t want to be the kind of man/woman for whom the rains spell doom and the cold weather simply exposes the ‘holes’ in his/her wardrobe – if any. This is not about appearances only. It’s about your health too. Cold rain weather, no matter how macho/feminine you come, will ‘put you down’ if you do not confront it with the right clothes and or accessories. Unless time is an asset in plentiful supply, you do not want to be delayed or even marooned at some town building veranda because you can’t walk to the next building as it is raining because you have no umbrella, or even raincoat.
With couple of thunderstorms here and there during the past few days, the rain-gods have showered its bounty on the city taking the weather back to being air-conditioned. The monsoon is here again and people in the city are busy choosing umbrellas to brave the mighty rains. Just stop in front of any street vendor selling parasols, you will see them patiently choosing one perfect for their need with utmost care. Starting with Rs 100 for the smallest one, prices of these umbrellas go up to Rs 150-Rs 200. In shops, umbrellas could cost you from Rs 150 upto Rs 1000 and over depending on the style and quality.
They come in all sizes and fabrics too. Umbrellas are a much needed accessory here during monsoon. During the monsoon they sprout like mushrooms everywhere. In addition to being used in the usual fashion as a shelter from the rain, they are commonly seen popped up over motorcycles and bicycles. The humble umbrella is making a comeback as the latest fashion accessory. Umbrellas shouldn’t just be something used to block the rain. It should be an extension of who you are as a person. It should reflect your style and personality.
Umbrellas that were earlier made only to serve a purpose have now become a way of making a style statement. Long gone are the days of solid black umbrellas donning the city with a solemn look, but today umbrella-makers are getting more and more experimental with their designs and people are simply lapping it up. Pastels have given way to bright colours and floral umbrellas have been substituted with checks and polka dots. And, if you are feeling a tad feminine, then frills are the way to go!
In this age when pocket umbrellas are popular, many of the youngsters in the city are seen sporting the long, single fold crook-handle umbrella too. Varieties are available in pastel shades of baby pink, mint green and blue, purples and reds, they are a modern version of the Victorian design and look flirty and feminine. Colours are getting brighter and bolder each season, oranges, yellows and bright neon hues are being preferred. Men are fortunately not left behind, with a diversion from the boring black, umbrellas in deep navy blue, military green and grey with checks or stripes are the popular choice.
“All my old stock (collection of umbrellas) has already been sold and even the new stock is almost on the verge of getting cleared. The anticipated unpredictable weather conditions, with intermittent showers every alternate day, have also compelled people to buy umbrellas and raincoats as most of them are no longer willing to put their health in danger. We are also being experimental with colours and the youngsters seem to love it” said Terrence D’souza-owner of AR D’Souza and Sons on Market Road, who carries a wide range of umbrellas and also their own “Pompei-Cow Brand” manufactured at their factory. Also a number of other shopkeepers, including street vendors on Market Road selling umbrellas are also witnessing a brisk sale.
According to a city Dermatologist who said, “Umbrellas are extremely important means of physical protection from the rain as well as the sun. In terms of protection we consider two factors, one is physical protection and the other is chemical. Chemical protection is through sunscreens, but physical protection is much more superior so umbrellas are needed. In a place like Mangaluru, U V index is very high whether in sun or rain, hence the possibility of a person getting UV damaged is more high compared to any other places. She also added, It should preferably be a two-layered umbrella, outside must have a lighter colour and the inside must have a darker shade, as the lighter shade acts as a reflector and the darker as a non- reflector”.
Mercy, a hair specialist cautions saying, “Avoid getting your hair wet in the rains and never tie wet hair. Dry it as soon as possible, especially if you have long hair, otherwise the roots of your hair may rot and produce a bad smell. Pollution, suspended particles in the air which come down with the rain, can settle on your scalp and make your scalp itchy and lead to hair problems. Umbrella can be a useful weapon against this”. She advises people to cover their hair when going out in the rains. A trendy umbrella or a stylish raincoat can not only protect your hair but also make a style statement.
As the Coastal City-Mangaluru is one of the prominent markets of monsoon commodities, it generates huge demand in the monsoon season with more than 80% of the sales witnessed in the three months of June, July and August. So get a Umbrella, or a Rain-coat- and Stay Dry this Monsoon season!
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