By Adisri Swain*
I went to Cuttack yesterday, which is extremely famous for its dahibara-aloodum. There I met Raghu, who is an extremely famous dahibara-aloodum vendor in Cuttack. He isn’t just some ordinary seller. He doesn’t wait for people to eat his dahibara. People wait for his arrival only to savour this scrumptious delicacy before it gets over.
Here are the excerpts from the conversation:
A: For how many years have you been selling dahibara now?
R: Since the past six decades.
A: Earlier you sold them near Barabati Stadium. What made you stop selling there and come to this place?
R: When I sold near Barabati, my fellow vendors became jealous as customers would prefer my dahibara over theirs. They tried pinning false allegations on me for which I had to suffer a lot despite of being innocent. After some time I decided to shift here and give myself a news start by avoiding pessimistic people and surroundings.
Customers begun looking for me near Barabati Stadium and after finding out my new location, thronged it and showered their love on my dahibara once again, ignoring all false allegations. My customers are the reason that keeps me going.
A: Who taught you to make dahibara?
R: I learnt it from my father. Dahibara was always prepared at my home. But after learning that some people from my neighbourhood were selling it for a living, I thought of starting a business and became the first one from my family to do so.
A: Who helps you in the whole process of making and selling?
R: My two sons and my niece help me sell in the stall. My wife helps me prepare it.
Everyday Raghu arrives with his cart of one-time stock of dahibara. He sells three variants of it: One, being the plain and original bara, the second being the spicy kind and the third with a slightly sweet taste. More and more batches arrive to replenish the stock, as customers flood his stall.
At 79, Raghu is a self-made entrepreneur who is humble, disciplined and works very hard, despite his age. For the Katkis, he is not just a dahibara-aloodum seller. He is a celebrity.
The article was originally published at adisriswain.wordpress.com.