My Story: "Nani Reminds Me Over And Again That Age Is Just A Number When It Comes To Chasing One's Dreams"

Yashi Chowdhary prompted her Nani, Manju Devi Poddar to start her own venture during the COVID-19 lockdown. Her Nani has always been passionate about cooking and finally started her venture at 70 with assistance from her granddaughter. Through 'Nani's Special', they serve varieties of sweets, snacks and other dishes, and have even made deliveries overseas.

West Bengal   |   24 March 2021 1:07 PM GMT
Writer : Ankita Singh | Editor : Rakshitha R | Creatives : Rajath
My Story: Nani Reminds Me Over And Again That Age Is Just A Number When It Comes To Chasing Ones Dreams

Image Credits : Yashi Chowdhary

Growing up, I really bonded with Nani over food. I had an almost insatiable longing for her sweets. No festival was complete without her pedas and nariyal chakkis.

All our special occasions and festivals were incomplete without Nani's delicacies. She used to spend hours in the kitchen preparing our favourite sweets and dishes.

I think cooking is my Nani's pride, her identity. As she always says, "Cooking never tires her". She loves cooking for everyone- family, friends and even strangers.

Manju Devi Poddar, the owner of Nani's Special , while preparing sweets.

Nani got married when she was 15. She recalls that her first culinary experience was quite a disaster and no one liked her cooking.

It took her almost 2-3 years of strict training from her mother-in-law to master the basics of cooking. Her first culinary success was making Dahi Vada- a recipe shared to her by her neighbour and friend.

Over the years, Nani became very passionate and experimented with various cuisines. However, she never thought of commercialising her skill.

During the lockdown, we would spend long hours discussing our favourite things to do as we had ample time. One evening, I asked her if she'd ever considered selling her delicious sweets. Not surprisingly, the answer was a simple 'no'. After that, it didn't take me very long to convince Nani to start our venture.

After a few days of brainstorming and planning, we launched 'Nani's Special'. The response to our launch on Janmashtami was unexpected. We delivered over 40 prasad platters and everyone called us back appreciating our dishes.

Sweets packed for deliveries at 'Nani's Special'

The joy on Nani's face at "having made it" was just the motivation that we needed to expand our venture. Nani has finally found her calling at 70 and she is thrilled to get an amazing response from her customers.

Through our venture- Nani's Special- we wanted to deliver homemade food to our customers. We wanted people to get a homely feel by eating these delicacies.

All of us have special memories attached to our favourite food and we wanted to revive it through 'Nani's Special'.

Ranging from everyday essentials like pickles, maathi, and bhujia to indulgent sweets like peda, nariyal chakki, and parval, we prepare it all under the supervision of Nani.

When we started out, we found it difficult to manage deliveries as there were a number of restrictions imposed due to COVID-19. However, over time we've established pick-up points and delivery routines that have helped us tackle the problem.

Regional sweets prepared at their kitchen

Today, we serve over 200 happy customers in various parts of the country. Nani's sweets and snacks have even made their overseas journey.

We've grown to a team of five and ensure that Nani's 'Ghar ka Sweets' is fresh, tasty, and most importantly hygienic.

Nani spends her entire day planning and experimenting with various dishes that we have included in our menu. She wants each customer to get home-made flavours through sweets and other delicacies. Whenever we get new orders placed from the same customer, Nani feels elated and beams with joy.

Nani's journey keeps me reminding over and again that age is just a number when it comes to chasing one's dreams.

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mystory@thelogicalindian.com

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Contributors

Ankita Singh

Ankita Singh

Trainee Digital Journalist

A literature lover who likes delving deeper into a wide range of societal issues and expresses her opinions about the same. Keeps looking for best-read recommendations while enjoying her coffee and tea.

Rakshitha R

Rakshitha R

Digital Editor

Rakshitha an engineer turned passionate journalist with an inclination for poetry, creative writing, movies, fiction, mountains and seclusion. Not a part of the social process but existential.

Rajath

Rajath

Creative Producer

A free spirit who find meaning in life with the virtue of creativity and doing job par its excellence, animal lover and traveller by heart.

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