Aadi Perukku is an important festival of Tamil Nadu, during which people pay respect to nature.It is commonly known as the Aadi monsoon festival and is celebrated on the 18th day of the Tamil month of Adi. The festival pays tribute to water's life-sustaining properties.
Nature worship in the form of Amman deities is organised for the blessing of mankind with peace, prosperity and happiness, and to shower nature’s bountiful grace on human beings. People sow nine types of seeds, which symbolises birth, life and sustenance.
“Buying of gold jewellery isn’t really mandatory during this festival. Earlier, as people used to be engaged in household and agricultural duties, no one used to come to jewellery stores to buy gold, so in the past,jewellers started announcing discount schemes in order to encourage the masses to buy gold during Aadi,” says Jithendra Vummidi of VBJ. Eventually, offering discounts and luring consumers to stores to buy gold jewellery during Aadi became customary. “It helps both consumers and retailers, and like every year, we too announced some discount schemes. This year, despite the second Covid wave, business has picked up, and we are strictly following Covid protocols and adhering to timings laid down by the corporation,” Vummidi explains.
Business will grow in future
According to Soumya Sanjjay from AVR Swarnmahal, “Aadi is nearly half-way through and some people who have functions in the family are coming forward to buy jewellery. Business holds the promise of picking up in future. We have announced some festival discounts and introduced some schemes. But we understand that human life is above business and, therefore, do not aggressively push for anything. Those who want to buy come and buy. During this time, compassion and kindness is paramount. Business always improves eventually as Diwali and winter wedding season come up,” she declares.
Sales have been slow
Says Anantha Padmanabhan of NAC, Chennai, “This time local authorities announced a lockdown till August 9 in some places in the state, and that has toppled sales numbers. All the same, we have not announced any special sale or discount for Aadi this year, as we believe people should not rush in to buy jewellery only because of an attractive scheme – social distancing has to be observed.”
Money is needed for healthcare and during the second wave, many families have lost their loved ones. Padmanabhan says NAC did not want to be insensitive to their grief by pushing the massesinto buying gold jewellery. “Those who need to buy jewellery will come and buy, we need not push much,” he believes.
Need-based buying continues
Says Senthil Sumangali, “Aadi festival is going on well. All of us are following Covid protocols and ensuring that business runs smoothly with some customary discount scheme that we have announced, like every year.” It has been a tough year, but the way business is picking up, the future seems to be good, he feels.
Princeson Jose, chairman and managing director of Prince Jewellery, Chennai,says, “We too have offered some discounts and people are coming in to buy jewellery. One can work and ensure that things run smoothly without additional burden of monetary losses.The footfall at Prince Jewellery is good and demand is increasing steadily.”
Aadi festival has indeed nurtured green shoots in the G & J business and sowed the seeds of hope in an otherwise glum year.