With strict lockdown in place, shops have decided to work in the afternoon so as to keep their businesses running
By Nischal Sanghavi
The Covid-19 lockdown has brought in a major shift in the traditional lifestyle of people and businesses in Rajkot, Morbi and Surendranagar. The biggest change is that the siesta from 1 pm to 4 pm, which is quintessentially Saurashtrian, has been put to sleep.
Businessman Arvind Gangdev says that with lockdown in Rajkot from 7 pm to 7 am, businesses are keeping open from 9 am to 4 pm. This is a break from the traditional lifestyle that has Rajkotians go home for a nap from 1 pm to 4 pm. But now people have decided to sacrifice their sleep for business.
Namrata Shah, a housewife, says that businesses keeping open in the afternoon is a welcome change. "Hopefully it would be the new normal in Saurashtra. Earlier, if we had to go and buy something, we had to look at our watch first. We had to plan in advance and finish shopping by 1 pm. Thankfully, that is done away with now."
Jitesh Kundnani, who owns a supermarket on Rajkot's Sardarnagar main road, said, "Earlier if a customer visited after 1 pm, we had to send them back as it was closing time. The new timing is also good for travelling salesmen who don't have a clue what to do for three hours in the afternoon." Jitesh changed supermarket timings from 9 am to 4 pm and may continue to keep the shop open during afternoon even post lockdown.
Ashish Kothari, who is into distribution business in Morbi, remains a strong advocate of afternoon nap. "It freshens you up for the second session. It was actually a good thing to do."
Nitin Shah, a retailer in Surendranagar says, he used to keep his shop open in the afternoon earlier too, to cater to the village clientele. However, if there are less customers, he takes a nap in the corner of the shop.
Kamlesh Mamtora, a salesman in Jamnagar, feels that the way people are working continuously without a break, afternoon naps may never return.