Covid restrictions have gone and customers are flocking back to Kolkata's budget markets for this year's Pahela Baishakh and EID boosting sales, The Telegraph India reports.
The closure of Tallah Bridge in 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic hit the business of hawkers and owners of small shops, stalls, and kiosks hard.
However, as restrictions have eased and international borders reopened, shoppers are coming back to the Hatibagan and New Market areas.
"There's a plethora of offers and shoppers are spoilt with bumper discounts and offers and this is the best time to stock up on your year-long make-up," said Shinjini Ghosh of Barrackpore, who regularly visits Hatibagan market.
Similarly, the Chaitra sale at New Market is experiencing a surge in sales thanks to the return of Bangladeshi buyers who are gearing up for the upcoming Eid celebrations following the reopening of international borders.
Hatibagan has seen an estimated 60% rise in sales compared to the last few years, while New Market is witnessing a 50% increase in sales.
"To be honest, Bangladeshi shoppers are keeping this market alive. While most Kolkatans flock to malls, Bangladeshi shoppers visit us every year during this time," said Md Shamim, a shoe seller at New Market's Globe Gali.
Shoppers favour traditional attire such as lehenga, salwar suits, and cotton sarees for the upcoming festivities, while kurtas and semi-formal suits are also selling well.
"During Eid, we not only shop for ourselves but also for relatives. So, if you are buying in bulk, it's cheaper than in Bangladesh, including the travel cost," said a woman from Jessore.