Balasore: The Raja celebrations, one of Odisha’s most popular festivals, will be muted this year, thanks to the the COVID-19 pandemic. But Ranjan ‘Bhai’ has come forward to ensure that the festival doesn’t lose its sheen entirely, by offering his special ‘paan’.
Raja paan, without which the festival is incomplete, will be available this year too. Having the traditional paan is almost like a ritual in Balasore and Ranjan Bhai comes up with a variety of paan in innovative flavours to attract customers.
“I am not only preparing and selling different varieties of Raja paan this year, but also making the public aware about precautionary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19,” said Ranjan Bhai.
“Every year during Raja, I keep stock of Raja paan ranging up to Rs 250. But this year due to the restrictions and less demand, I have kept paan costing upto Rs 50,” he added.
Besides being customer-friendly, Ranjan Bhai is known for selling quality paans. His regular customers say they are satisfied with his service. During Raja celebration, unique paans by Ranjan Bhai make the difference for thousands of Odia people.
His shop offers about 27 varieties, including Banarasi paan, flavoured paan and Kasturi paan.
“Paan is a cultural tradition and helps in digestion too. Ranjan Bhai is a graduate from the town, who has been running a betel shop for about 15-17 years at Fandi Square. He has an art of preparing and selling paan in a different and unique manner,” one of his regular customers observed.