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Ahmedabad / Mumbai: Dandiya raas, colourfully dressed men and women and late nights - a heady concoction that has parents losing their sleep. To battle the Navratri nerves, parents have now found a unique way to keep an eye on their children.
Parents in Gujarat and Maharashtra are hiring their friendly neighbourhood Sherlock Holmes' to trail their daughter or son, to make sure they are not up to any hanky-panky. And the secret agents are making sure the youngsters don't give them the slip.
A Detective with Lotus Agency, Utpal Chowdhury says, "We had 40 cases last year and this year there are 55. In 70 per cent of the cases we are asked to watch over females."
With these private detectives charging anything between Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000 per night for nine nights, their business is certainly booming.
But they're not alone, because the other side effect of sleepless nights is increased sexual activity, resulting in a sharp rise in contraceptive sales.
Proprietor Ahmedabad based-Anand Chemists, Anand Patel says, "Teen chaar guna zyaad ho jaat hai, is time mein - condom aur i-pill ki sale." (Sales of condoms and i-pill goes up by almost three to four times.")
Better safe than sorry - that seems to be the slogan this Navratri for both the younsters enjoying their nine nights of freedom and for their parents shackled down by anxiety.
(With inputs from Meghdoot Sharon in Ahmedabad)