I started baking when I was in the 7th grade. My parents never allowed me to eat outside so I somehow managed to convince them to buy me a Pilsbury cooker cake pack. It was my first-ever cake and there was no looking back after that.
Pursuing a Bachelors in Hotel Management was one of many steps to follow my dream of owning my own cafe someday. With the pandemic, I had to move back home and graduate like most of us did - online. Since I was at home and had quite a bit of time on my hands, I would bake for myself and my sister almost every day, this led to a couple of inquiries from our close friend circle as to whether I would be selling them.
My Journey Through School And College Was No Roller Coaster
I was always a misfit. I spent my schooling years trying to figure out what I liked and what I could be good at. It was only once when I started my bachelor's that I discovered my true calling - baking. I started really applying myself to learning more about world cuisines and also explored new ways to integrate what I already knew about food and taste into what I was being taught.
I was already exposed to the significance of organic and indigenous ingredients because of our family farm and had the opportunity to develop millet-based recipes for a research project during my first year of college. The fact that I was able to actively contribute to this project reassured me of my love for food and everything it has to offer.
Bullying, unfortunately, has been a part of my school and degree experience. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it has made me who I am today, but the isolation that it resulted in helped me to hone my focus completely on my passion. As a result of bullying during my school and degree days, I have undergone quite a lot of issues.
I am eerily familiar with the problems and stereotypes that people associate with food and what they see as "unhealthy". This is something I want to combat through my page and blog - I follow the idea of intuitive eating and want to spread body positivity. I strongly feel that how we feel about our bodies affects our self-confidence.
Baking Bakes My Worries Away
It did start as a way of cooking the dishes I wanted to eat. Baking has had a very calming effect on me. Once when I was in 10th grade, I was super-stressed for my math board exam and I remember my family pushing me to take a break from studying.
It was only after I baked a batch of chocolate-chunk cookies that I was able to breathe properly again and scoring a ninety-six out of hundred was just the cherry on top! Baking now is no longer a hobby, it's my part-time job. Whenever I am stressed, I find my way to the kitchen, and the sound of utensils and the aroma of a baking cake is all that is needed to take my worries away. I am a self-made entrepreneur! I take pride in what I do.
My parents were quite supportive when they viewed my baking as a hobby. They have bought me an oven and even given me a space to bake here at home, but I think, like almost all Indian parents, they want me to pursue one of the "safer" jobs as they do not believe that this can grow into a business of its own. My sister, on the other hand, has always been a constant pillar of strength and support. In fact, she was the sole reason why my parents allowed me to join a course in Hotel Management! The reviews that I receive from my customers push me to never let go of my dreams!
Life Is Uncertain, But I Am Certain What I Want From Life
My long-term goal is to make enough money through baking so I can save to invest in a venture of my own. I have always been told to save money the old fashioned, middle-class way - in banks and Fixed Deposits, but I don't see that future for myself so much. I want to take risks and invest in myself and my abilities. I want to tell other girls out there that their dream is valid, no matter how insignificant others deem it to be. At the end of the day, it is really important for everyone to be happy with what they do the entire day. The pursuit of one's dreams is the only way we can feel that satisfaction.
In the next ten years, I see myself in a tiny house with a big kitchen that has lots of sunlight and a couple of kittens. I see myself conducting baking, cooking and food photography workshops. I would like to see alternative professions like baking and cooking to be normalised and paid well.
My sister and I want to open a café together someday. This is where we set up a lending library and reading space for our customers. Another thing I'd love to do is to open a dessert bar with a plated desserts menu, I think there's so much to dessert beyond ice creams and cakes!
I truly believe that eating is one of the most satisfying feelings one can feel. Through my art and passion, I want The quote I swear by is what I heard Obelix say in Asterix and Obelix: "Eating to live is all wrong, living to eat is a song!"
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