FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Arindam Ganguly, OP
Bhubaneswar:Books are not the only attraction for bibliophiles. There are other things too at the book fair to titillate your taste buds. The ongoing 18th Rajadhani book fair at Unit III is also drawing visitors for various dishes like handmade chocolates, bakery products, Rajasthani thali, Dal bati Churma, Mung Dal Halwa, Churma Dal Laddu, Jodhpuri Dahibara and Berhampur pickles to name a few. Apart from its book stalls selling books at discounted prices, the fair has a host of stalls attracting food connoisseurs for a variety of delectable recipes. Handmade chocolates and bakery stalls are selling cookies, ice creams of a variety of flavours including mango, strawberry and caramel at the book fare. Shruti Sharma, owner of one of the stalls, said people are buying handmade chocolates and cookies which are modelled upon various animal forms and in the shape of comic characters.
This is her first visit to book fair and she thinks children are coming in large numbers to the stalls. She said she had prepared all the cookies and bakery products herself with her hands which give the dishes a unique taste and look to lure the children. The other mouth-watering dishes on display at the fair include Rajasthani dishes. Raghuveer Singh of Jaipur, who has been visiting the place for the past six years, said this book fair being the largest in the town, several book lovers come here to spend a lot of time at the exhibition where they may get drawn towards the eateries.
“In our stall, we provide a variety of dishes from traditional Rajasthani dishes such as Dal Bati Churma, Jhodhpur Dahi Beda, Kachauri, Jalebi and Marwari Kulfi. We also made special seating arrangements for the visitors who can read their books while eating simultaneously.”
This apart, pickles of Berhampur are drawing huge footfalls at the fair. Prashant Kumar Parida of Berhampur, who has been visit ing the fair for the past seven years, said, “We sell pickles, papads and other snacks and sell about Rs 3000-4000 per day.’’ When contacted, Upendra Kumar Jena, president of Rajdhani Book fair, said more than 10 food stalls were given permission to open their stalls at the fair because customers who come to buy books will definitely love to have some refreshments. So, we provided the facility by permitting the eateries at the fair.”