Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Visited the Mount Mary Church this year during the festival and what struck me was the wide array of candles that were being sold in the stalls

I’ve heard of the Mahim Novena and the Velankanni Church, where devotees offer candles in the shape of affected body parts in the hope of a cure. But the range I saw on offer here was something else.

Baby girl and boy, man and woman, houses-from small to double storey ones, cycles, bicycles, autorickshaws, motorcycles and cars- not to say airplanes and entire ships! Pets, shops, offices – you name it and it was there.

When I was seeing all this, one of the stalls got more stock. ‘ baby, wedding, heart …’ he announced to the stall owner.

That got me thinking.

How do these people estimate what they need to stock? How does the manufacturer decide which moulds to use next?

How do they estimate demand? Or whats’s the wishlist order- the top 5 in the devotees’ prayer list?

I spoke to about ten of the stall owners and here’s the list in the order that I got it, with almost all concurring …

1. Health comes on top, and holds its place all year long: heart, limbs, and the like
2. Babies: yeah still more baby boys than girls
3. Marriage: more guys praying than girls looks like
4. Homes
5. Shops and offices
6. Vehicles: Motorcycles, Cars, Autorickshaws & cycles

The aeroplanes and ships I learnt were offerings bought by families for the safety of their kin working on board.

Ps: When I checked recently, almost a month later, I was told that there’s a spurt in 1 & 4. Would that be on account of people’s stress due to the market meltdown?