Bhograi: Despite not having superlative furnishings and lavish interiors like other hotels and restaurants, this eatery with asbestos roof in front of Bhograi police station in Balasore district has been gourmands’ first choice.
This hotel is famous as ‘Katinana’s Bhojanalay’ and its claim to fame is its easy-to-stomach type homely preparation. The owner prioritising hygiene and cleanliness is an added feature.
A 35-year-old resident of Dehurdda village under Bhograi police limits, Manas Kumar Dash is the owner of this hotel. People affectionately call him Katinana.
Like any other children, he also dreamt of higher studies and becoming a white-collar job holder. But the family’s financial problems forced him to discontinue his studies after matriculation.
Then he helped his parents in running the hotel. It was when the financial condition of the family was improving, he lost his father. Thereafter, a dispute separated him from his brother.
“After separation from my brother, I decided to set up my own hotel like the one my father used to have. I had 25 years of experience in cooking. It was a plus point for me. I took loans from friends and relatives and started a hotel. My wife Sulochan has been a guiding force for me,” admits Manas.
He also admits that their never-to-say-die attitude, honesty and good behaviour with the customers are the makings of their hotel’s success.
The hotel offers a table d’hôte menu comprising of five items including rice, dal and fish curry.
“I am earning something between Rs 1000 and 1,500 a day. During the shutdown and lockdown periods, like many others, I also suffered a lot. However, the situation is limping back to normalcy,” he added.
“Besides giving priority to cleanliness, I always make it a point to give my customers tasty and at the same time healthy food so that they don’t feel upset while leaving my hotel,” he said.
The hotel has enabled them to give their children education and earn a reputation among their relatives.
People love him for another reason. He never turns down poor and hungry persons. He treats them with a free but sumptuous meal.