If you want to buy used goods at throwaway prices, it may be a good idea to drop by Ujjain sometime this week.
With the Simhastha Kumbh drawing to an end, thousands of sadhus who bought air coolers and furniture to ease their one-month stay in the temple town are hurriedly disposing of their goods. The other articles on sale are air-conditioners, fans, chairs, folding cots and utensils.
The sadhus, who arrived a few days before the mela commenced, set up tents that were makeshift in nature but fairly equipped with creature comforts. Most of the tents have now been dismantled, and the goods therein put out for sale.
People interested in buying the used articles can get in touch with the sadhus to get the best bargains. However, while the discounts are high, so is the demand.
“I bought a fridge from a sadhu during the last Simhastha in 2004, and it’s going strong even now,” says Kishore Sharma, who came looking for another lucky buy on Monday.
Buying from the sadhus makes monetary sense too. While new air-coolers cost anywhere over Rs 4,000, you can get a barely used one from Ujjain for Rs 2,000 or less. The same holds true for other electronic equipment such as air-conditioners and fans.
“We can’t take the goods to our ashram in Haridwar because the cost of transportation is very high. So we are either selling them here, or giving them away to our disciples,” says Mahant Satbir Das of Madhavdas Tyagi Ashram.
Many sadhus with a liking for fresh milk are also known to buy cattle for the course of their stay. When it’s time to leave, they give the animals away to devotees.
However, the Simhastha clearance sale may not be around for much longer. Sources say fewer goods were available for sale this time than its 2004 edition because a majority of the sadhus now prefer to take air conditioners and air coolers on rent than actually go about buying them.