Mangaluru: With the City already showing some signs of rains, and that the monsoon season is on its way pretty soon, you can see street vendors and shops already dealing with raincoats/umbrellas. It is during this time of the year, a bunch of umbrella sellers from North India storm in to Mangaluru and carry on their umbrella selling trade on street sides. But buying umbrella from these road side vendors is quite risky, because these umbrellas which are cheaper may not even last for few weeks or may be few days. But one place you can rely on for genuine and long lasting umbrellas is A R D’Souza and Sons, located on Market Road, Mangaluru-with also having branches in Puttur and Kushalnagar-Coorg. Established in 1908, A R D’Souza has been serving their customers with the best products, with satisfaction guarantee, and customers still keep coming back. 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 ! So if you are looking for a new umbrella, A R D’Souza got you covered!
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 who has no umbrella, jacket or raincoat when its pouring out there?” 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 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.
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. And among many other shops selling umbrellas, one favorite place where many go shopping for Umbrellas is AR D’Souza and Sons, where one could see them patiently choosing one perfect for their need with utmost care. Starting with Rs 150 for the smallest one, prices of these umbrellas go up to Rs 600-700 depending on the size and quality. Large garden umbrellas may cost between Rs 500-1500.
Umbrellas 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. And A R D’Souza and Sons has it all- and their own “Cow” brand umbrellas have earned a name for decades, and still people come asking for Cow brand umbrellas because of their durability, quality and reasonable cost.
“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. From older style of umbrellas to modern style we have them all. Although the original design of ancient Roman umbrellas still remains largely unchanged, modern umbrellas are made to be durable, lightweight and more usable in their job of protecting the wearer from rain, wind and sun. 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.
A R D’Souza had started this company in 1908, where in the beginning only weaving was done- but in the year 1940, they switched to umbrella manufacturing. The company which was located at Bendore-well for many years, was later shifted to its present location in Marnamikatta in the city. Presently AR D’Souza’s grandsons Terrence and Marian D’Souza manage A R D’Souza and Sons on Market Road. At the umbrella manufacturing unit I had the pleasure of meeting Masood, the manager and also assistant manager, Nazeer who both have over 30 years of experience in umbrella making- and they were kind enough to give me a tour of the factory and also explained about ‘making of an umbrella’. With about dozen of employees who work only six-seven months a year, they are still capable of making nearly 30,000 umbrellas during that period.
Masood said that once upon a time they used to make over 50 to 60 thousand umbrellas per year, but lately they decided to make only the required number of umbrellas as per requirements/orders. And due to other competitors and people buying China made cheap umbrellas, Masood said recently they have cut down their production and only make the required quantity of umbrellas for the rainy season and rest of the year. At Pompei Umbrella Manufacturing Company they make “Cow” brand umbrellas which are exclusively available at A R D’Souza and Sons, and also at their many authorized dealers.
Under the “Cow” brand umbrellas there are nearly 100 different varieties which come in various shape, size and colors. Some of the popular ‘Cow’ brand umbrella names are- Macho, Pomprose, Safari, Jyothi, Happy Cow, Black Magic, Monalisa, Selma, Titanic, Manisha, Tom and Jerry, Scooby, Popeye, Micky-Mouse, Kareena, Reena, Flora, Boss, Three-Ace, Nargis, Silver-Doll, Pompei-Queen, Cow Boy, Miss World, King, Don, Super Mini, Aishwarya, Sweety, Royal Star, Super Max, \breeze, Sunshine etc etc. Gents Japan Nylon Cloth-Bent handle umbrellas cost between Rs 180- 210; Gents happy nylon cloth piano umbrellas cost between Rs 180-300; Children-piano fancy umbrellas-Rs 110 to 200; Topless ladies folding umbrellas-Rs 190 to 205; Automatic folding umbrellas-Rs 190-285; Automatic jumbo folding umbrellas-Rs 210 to 295; Super mini MS frame steel tips umbrella-Rs 215 to 225; Super mini steel frame with steel tips-Rs 235-240; Super mini black frame with steel tips-Rs 245 to 250; Auto three fold and steel tips -Rs 270 to 390.
To make one umbrella it takes about 15 to 20 minutes, which includes stitching, dye printing, framing, handle fixing, and final assembly. Masood said that he personally inspects each and every umbrella for quality and perfectness before it is shipped out. “We feel proud of our work and the quality of our products. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority. When it comes to our ‘Cow’ brand umbrellas we hardly get any complaints, but we are not responsible for the rough use by the customers or wear and tear. We always make sure that our products go out of the factory in good quality and perfection to satisfy our customers” added Masood.
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, and Stay Dry this Monsoon Season! Visit A R D’Souza and Sons on Market Road and buy your favorite colorful umbrella.
A R D’Souza and Sons
Market Road, Mangaluru
Phone : 0824-2423288, 2423463
A R D’Souza and Company
Court Road, Puttur