Bhubaneswar: The Sesha Raja or last day of Raja was celebrated in the city with much fanfare. While many went shopping, visited temples and friends and relatives, many organisations spent time with slum area kids.
From Nayapalli, Sahid Nagar, Satyanagar to Balianta and Patrapada, the Raja spirit was discernible, with little kids singing ‘Banaste Dakila Gaja’ song and taking part in ‘Puchi’ competition and women having a ‘swing’ time.
Manini Mishra who heads an NGO at Nayapalli visited many slum kids and offered them a sumptuous lunch, new dresses and toys. “We are fortunate to have families with us but these kids have none to turn to. Shelter homes can’t fulfil the void they are feeling; so I have initiated this effort of serving the kids for past five years which truly makes me happy,” said Manini.
Sumitra Maiti, a tribal girl of Patrapada, felt whether you are rich or poor, it does not matter, when it comes to celebrate Raja. “In our village there are 30 swings and each one is decorated with flowers. These three days are pure bliss as enjoyment knows no boundaries,” said Maiti.
Several malls in the city also witnessed huge rush as people crowded for Raja swings and free gift vouchers with each shopping. One well-known mall in the city offered free games for all kids under 15 throughout the day.
Nishika Janhavi, a tourist from Burdhaman, was ecstatic after she tasted Raja Pan. Similarly, Kuna Behera of Nayagarh who visited the city spent his whole day trying out the best Raja mitha pan.
The euphoria could be seen in public parks, movie halls and various cafes where youngsters ordered for Raja pan and poda pitha.
Susanta Singh, owner of a café at Nayapalli, said: “For the last three days, pan and poda pitha has been in our menu and we don’t want to upset our clients as they enjoy eating these Raja delicacies.”