Friday, September 21, 2012

Life begins where your comfort zone ends.

Hello Dear Blog and hello Dear Reader,
My apologies for the long silence. I have been away living my dream and dealing with life… But I am back, and I hope to be able to share some really fun food experiences from now on. Be warned, this is a long post, its also rather personal and not very food oriented but I hope it leaves you upliftedand positive...
“Life begins where your comfort zone ends”. I saw this somewhere today and its been on my mind ever since.
We all have dreams. I did too. But I was happy just dreaming mine because doing more would require guts I did not have.
Nanushka AKA Nan Whitcomb, my favourite poet once wrote “you cannot make waves if you do not leave the shore” I loved the line, but I was too scared to really live it. Then one fine day, Shekhar, my husband, handed me the life jacket of his support and pushed me off the shore. Together we began to convert what had become our dream to reality. The gap between having a dream and translating it into reality stretches over a chasm that requires hard work and boundless energy. We crossed our Chasm and launched APB Cook Studio, on the 8th of August this year. But the work was in no way done because waiting at the other end of the Chasm was an uphill climb to make your venture successful.
It has taken me a really long time to share this here on the blog, in fact it wasn’t until today, that I really felt like I was ready to write about APB Cook Studio on this blog. This blog has pretty much mapped my life since I started it, because every life event ends up affecting what I put here. And of late that’s been Zip. But its also been honest and I did want to put up a glossy shiny picture of happy-happy joy-joy where there wasn’t one yet.
Also Murphy, who wasn’t invited to the party, got upset and kicked in at this point, ensuring everything that could possibly go wrong, did. My smooth running home front went for a toss first with my support system falling apart. The husband had to undergo surgery, setbacks came in all shapes and sizes. In fact August 2012 was possibly the hardest month I have lived in my life. In fact I think I reached my lowest point ever, then. I remember the day. I twas raining like mad and late in the evening. I stood outside a store in Powai, holding bags full of ingredients, completely drenched. I was stressed out and tired and also reeling from hurt because I had just received some bad news. I had to get home, the replacement maid would leave soon and no rikshaw would go where I needed to. I have never felt as alone, helpless and at a loss as I did at that moment. I questioned myself and whether I had taken the right decision with embarking on this path… I wanted a shelter from the storm, someone to take away the hurt, wrap me in a cocoon and make it all better. But there was no one there.
At that point I realised that you are always alone in pain. People who love you will try to support you but you have to deal with it. Solutions and easy answers do not exist. You breathe deep and wait for it to ease a little and fight through, because you can't outrun it and life usually has more to send your way. When you are all alone and feeling cornered the only voice that can make a difference is yours, the only person you have to turn to, is you. We think that life altering moments happen slowly, over time. But they don’t. They happen in an instant, that’s why they are moments. Becoming an adult, a spouse, parent... One moment you are you, the next you have changed. And whatever that moment is, you never, ever forget it.
For me it was that moment, I decided that things had to change. I managed to cajole the next rikshaw that stopped for another lady headed further into dropping me off en route. It worked. It was a small battle but I won it. All the way home I kept congratulating myself. And promising myself that this was it, there was no turning back. There would be no more regrets or self questioning! 
And in the last month or so, I have pretty much stuck by that. I have beaten down many fears I have had for a lifetime, I have crossed milestones, overcome obstacles both good and bad and learned a lot; about business, about relationships, who my friends are and but mostly about myself. Today is I had another moment of self realisation…  
I tested a very promising new instructor and as I watched and listened to him, I was thinking of the potential, how I would package up his class, showcase his skills and immense knowledge and mentally listing the people that had already been to the studio that would love to learn from him. And I realised, that THIS is what I have signed up for, what I wanted; a beautiful inspiring space for passionate cooks of every stripe to realise their food fantasies.... a place where people could come to teach and learn.
Yes things are not easy, the investment is huge, a family’s worth of people who have invested their belief in me, and everything we have has gone into this dream. But you have to be willing to gamble. To recognise you might lose but take the chance, in the knowledge that if you invest wisely, the payoff just might surprise you. After all the bigger an investment the better its return.
The phones have begun to ring, classes have been filling up. We are far away from scaling the peak but success will come, eventually if its meant to. But life is not about scaling the peak, its about the journey to it. I am enjoying climbing that mountain, there are days of foul weather and days of sunshine. But there is much joy to be had in the little things. Small victories, the struggle and standing in the face of storms. Every happy cook that leaves smiling, inspired, raring to cook, that in itself is enough to celebrate.
So dear Reader of this Blog, I would like to officially invite you to APB CookStudio, my living dream, where cooking is FUN! Come say hello, sometime.
And I will leave you with this, do not let fear hold you back on taking that decision… yes you might be wrong, or make mistakes you can’t undo. You might fail, or be rejected but you have to try for yourself, to make your mistakes and learn your lessons. Because I can tell you this, from where I am at ---- knowing is far better than wondering. And the worst outcome, the biggest failure, beats the hell out of not having tried!
Because life begins where your comfort zone ends….


Anonymous said...

Well put. Loved this post.

Mala said...

I really loved this piece.. I have been reading you articles that used to come in DNA's "ME".. hats off to you ma'am.. keep up the good work you are doing for very few get to live their dreams and you are one of the lucky few!!

Khushnaz said...

Bravo on taking the plunge into deep and as yet uncharted waters, and good luck on your new venture. Here`s wishing you sweet success.

Hope the recovery from surgery for your husband is going well too.

Bon courage!

Slinin Edward said...

Hard work can only take you so far. You certainly need guts and willingness to take risks. This spirit of risk-taking continues to launch many people into a new life and new business opportunities, just like you. Congrats and keep moving ahead!

Anurag Mehrotra said...

Beautiful and well designed studio! All the very best.

Anonymous said...

This was a very inspiring post. Thank you for sharing your journey.

The knife said...

Missed this post as I was in cal i think...actually even though you have not been here, all of us who know you through this blog have been proudly following what you are doing... begins where comfort zone ends is a lovely line. A smart one. It takes guts to actually live it. So keep walking...pun intended

Heena @TiffinTales said...

Hi! I just discovered your blog and wanted to wish you Congratulations! I know something about following your dreams - I was an engineer for 6 years when I left it behind to go to pastry school in Paris. I would love to check out the studio when I come back to Bombay. Wishing you all the very best.