Islamabad - As umbrella business is one of the most profitable jobs in rainy days, shopkeepers and vendors have displayed variety of umbrellas to attract customers in different bazaars of Islamabad.

Umbrellas are designed in different colours, shapes and sizes. For those who deal in umbrellas more rain means more money, especially when it is the first rain of the winter.

Muhammad Osama, who is in his early forties, has been dealing in umbrellas for the last 13 years in Aabpara Market, Islamabad. “During rainy season, regardless of their gender, from kids to adults all need umbrellas. Males usually like black colour while ladies are interested in colourful umbrellas.” He said that with the arrival of rainy season people had started buying umbrellas. “It is peak season and I sell dozens of umbrellas on daily basis.”

According to the vendor, “In summer, umbrellas are commonly used by ladies to protect their skins from sunburn. Such umbrellas are small and in attractive colours.” Apart from ladies’ umbrellas, the other regular items in Osama’s stall were multipurpose large-sized umbrellas that are usually used by cart owners in winter season as protector from rain or to provide them with shades in hot summer.

Shoaib Khan, who basically hails from Bajuar, roams through the jam-packed G-9 Markaz, popularly known as Karachi Company, and carries raincoats on his shoulders and umbrellas in his hands. “Earlier I was selling Miswak (teeth cleaning twig), rosaries and prayer caps. However, during the protest rallies of Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri when I saw that other vendors were earning good money from umbrellas, I switched my business.” With the arrival of winter Shoaib Khan’s business is rewarding. “We the vendors enjoyed the sit-ins; apart from earning good money we also got free of cost food,” he added.

Ghulam Murtaza deals in umbrellas and raincoats in Aabpara Market. He has displayed different umbrellas in his shops located inside an alley.

Umbrellas in this particular shop are available in different price ranges. “The high priced umbrella is available on Rs 450 while the lowest price of an umbrella is Rs 100, being designed for children,” he said.

When it is raining, Sharif Ahmed, 17, usually picks umbrellas from a shop in Rawalpindi and heads towards Rawal Chawk. “My business is entirely dependent on rain. It starts with rain and ends as the sun comes out from behind the clouds.”

Faisal in Margalla Town Islamabad, along with stationery, sells baby toys. In winter children demand small-sized umbrellas. “I have bright and colourful small umbrellas that are perfectly designed for toddlers,” said Faisal. He added, “Children always like rain and small and fancy umbrellas double their joys.”

Musanif Khan moved Islamabad from Haripur in 1982. At the age of 15, he started the art of fixing umbrellas from late Sheikh Muhammad Saeed in Aabpara Market. After spending a few years with his guru, Musanif started his own business and established a small workshop in the corner of a street in the bazaar. He also makes duplicate keys and changes the broken handles of pressure cookers. “Some people have started visiting us for the repair of their umbrellas.

However, majority of people instead of repairing their umbrellas opt for buying new ones that has badly affected our business.” According to him the present-day makers produce such a low quality umbrellas and the craftsmen find it difficult to repair such stuff. While referring to past he said, “In the past, umbrellas were made of high quality material and the people used to keep their canopies for decades and visit us for repair work.”