The fact that you are reading this says that you are a HeartBakes friend already. It does not matter whether you are a baker or not, but I know you love food and just for that, we like you! At HeartBakes, we take food very seriously, and especially, anything that comes out of a 45 litres OTG.
So what is this blog about? It takes you, the reader, to behind-the-scenes of what goes on when one chooses baking as (or aspires it to become) a full time career. It is an archive of experiences the good, bad and the ugly in an entrepreneurial journey. After working for 10 odd years as a development professional, working on my own and for me is not just freeing and exciting, it’s hideously nerve-wracking. And one can never really prepare enough for that. In fact I am still getting to reach that fine balance.
The decision making process itself was not easy. It was on a quiet Thursday morning during a mundane car ride to work when the penny dropped. I could almost hear it plop. My inner voice was saying, “I can do this. Right now, right here.” Later, my brain, wearing the garb of guilt, popped in, “Are you out of your mind? Who’s going to give you that solid pay cheque beginning of the month? You have worked this hard in development sector, literally climbed the ladder, just to drop it all and begin anew?” And then there was always the body clock chiming away loudly, “You are not growing any younger.” The very fact that I was having this dialogue for nearly six months, before I took the plunge, meant a cycle of many sleepless nights, SWOT analyses, intense discussions with immediate family, soul searching and research (not particularly in that order).
But despite the turmoil, I knew my mind was made and it was only a matter of time. I knew I had to pursue baking full time. I could not have ignored this burning passion any more. What was reserved for weekends had been increasingly demanding more time, more effort. I even dreamt baking (sounds nerdy!). But those are all don’t-wake-me-up sort of dreams. Now I can’t wait to get up and get on with my day. The last day of my previous job, my shoulders actually felt lighter.
I always loved baking and loved to experiment with food as a teenager. When people asked what I’d want to do in life, I gave answers such as “I want to be a Chef when I grow up”. However, as an impressionable teenager, I lacked that self belief and eventually got waylaid by the need for job security, financial independence and alternate interest in development sector. Nevertheless, baking over the weekends and for family occasions gave me immense satisfaction. I was self taught then and the self-learning never stopped. Today, even while I am pursuing formal training in baking, I continue to pour countless hours over books, Google and YouTube.
Was I a so-called fraud in the social sector then? No way. Don’t get me wrong here. It made me who I am. I knew as a teenager I would be in this sector, just as I have finally cooked up the courage to be in food industry here on. The development sector is as much a part of me, as is this new dimension that I am exploring. I feel strongly for social issues, and especially the ones I have been closely associated with, that is, women’s empowerment and working with sex workers and their issues. I still feel strongly for development communication and the importance it deserves in social sector. I have met some inspiring people in this journey and made lovely friends, some of whom have been my mentors as well (you know who you are, if you are reading this).
I still am the same person I was before. It is just that I am finally now applying the work ethics and self-discipline that I learnt at work to something that I am more passionate about.
The idea behind this blog is not just to share with you the ups and downs of this journey, but to show you, that baking is as much a science as it is an art! The way food chemically reacts with each other and no, not in the Heston way - in a given (heated or non-heated) environment, is no less than magic.
You are going to be an important part of this and I can hopefully count on your wishes!