BENGALURU: For many, having a pan is the perfect way to end a meal. Pan lovers out there shouldn’t miss the opportunity to go to Hello Paanwaala, a small stall that is known across the city for its different and special paans. Located in Koramangala, the shop is always buzzing with customers throughout the day. “We have 132 varieties of paan with different flavours. Chocolate is the most famous,” says Vikram, who runs the shop. There are also other popular flavours like the Vanilla, Mango, Litchi and Mango.
An added incentive to visit the place is the cheerful and enthusiastic owner, who literally urges customers passing by to come and buy the paan. Raj Bahadur from Uttar Pradesh, owner of the shop, addresses each customer with a “Hello! Paan?”in different ways. Thus the name of the shop. “Love is free. To love and care for a customer is also, free. I know that if I stop saying hello people might stop coming. I want the customers to be happy having the pan. So I always treat them well,”says Raj. It is no wonder that the main reason for the popularity of the shop is because of Raj himself. “People will always remember him because of his unique interaction with his customers,” says Vikram.
Raj came to Bangalore in 2002 and began selling paan.“I came to Bangalore 15 years back and only six years ago I started this shop,” says Bahadur. Presently it has six different outlets in Indiranagar ,Marthahalli and other areas of Bangalore. However only the one on Koramangal sells all the 132 varieties. It began with a few varieties and then through trial and error, Raj Bahadur came up his own recipes. Today he sells 1000 paans every day at a minimum cost of Rs 30. “We have customers every minute from 10 in the morning to 12, and there are regular customers for whom we give discounts. I also have a YouTube channel and a Facebook page about my paan shop,” Raj.
Each Paan is unique in its own way, says Raj. “We use different syrups which are freshly prepared at home. “We use tobacco only if the customer recommends, if not only dry fruits, syrup and freshly prepared gulkand is used,” says Vikram. Nagashree Angadi, a customers,says, “Chocolate paan is the best here. The flavour is strong. It’s perfect after a hearty meal. I feel like I’m having a desert,” says
Two other varieties which are popular are the Fire Paan and Ice Paan. “I had never heard of the fire paan or the ice paan, I was even scared to try it. But once I tried them I could get the taste of ice and fire with the flavours which gave a good blend to the overall paan”, says Sudha Yalawar another customer.