My brain is a pretty interesting place. There are times when I consider myself a kid and then there are times when I consider myself a grownup. Really frustrating are the times when I think like a grown-up but no one takes me seriously. However, what took me off-balance was once when I was considering myself a kid while the other person took me really seriously. This story is about that memory, something that left a lasting impression on me.
I went to bodhi greens after my adventure at cafe cloud door in the month of June 2017 for fifteen days. That time it uses to be a huge vegan restaurant located in the main square of Busy streets of Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh.
With a kitchen team of more than 15 people working 18hours in a day, the place was an overwhelming experience for me. I was given complete freedom about just hanging and doing whatever I feel like in the kitchen.
One of the highlights out there was when I made vegan mozarella cheese for the owner of the place on finding out about his love for cheese, something he doesn’t get to eat anymore. Ultimately I ended up making a Pizza for him with it. Once I made daal baati at 1 am at night for me and his brother when we were feeling hungry.
A fascinating incident happened when one of my Instagram followers after seeing me trying my hand on Indian tandoor asks me to cook Lavash bread(a Bread from Armenia). Once made, I shared its pic on Instagram with the caption ‘I am not sure if this is the right version as I have never eaten it before’. At the same time, Inga who is also involved in the cafe came to me and I offered her a serving as well. I knew that she was from Russia but apparently that was just half knowledge. I will never forget in my life how she burst with excitement when she shared that her grandmother used to feed her lavash bread in her childhood. It was then I found out she has Armenian ancestory and she moved to Russia later on in life. And guess what, she put her affirmative on my Lavash bread.
However, the event that left a lasting effect on me was when the owner, asked me and Manan another person working full time in the cafe to sit with him for a discussion on future of the place. I understand him asking Manan for advice because of his experience. Someone asking me to be part of such discussion was something new. His cafe was running in huge losses and even after earning more than 50k in a day, they continued to be in loss. Their kitchen was really messy and they were working 18 hours a day. To be able to achieve their daily targets, they were even serving food to the conventional public who didn’t understand the concept of Veganism and were not appreciating their paratha that came without butter or curd.
I have been nagging Varun the owner that they should move away from the place considering rent of this place was too high. That day too during the discussion I said the same thing. That is something I learnt from my stay in Bir, if rent is not high then even a bad day can be an occasion for celebration. He shared how he has been looking up at a place where rent was one-forth of the amount he was paying at the moment. I literally suggested him to look for the place where rent was one-tenth of what he is paying right now. So that he doesn’t have to worry about rent at all. I asked him to cut down on his team and only concentrate on serving people who are happy to eat vegan food while promoting the concept of veganism in the background.
Sooner than later, I left the place seeking the next adventure in life. A couple of months later I got to know they have shifted to a very beautiful and much smaller place near Dharamkot. Also, today they have multiple branches in various cities.
While I still don’t think it was just because I told him to shift he did it. But He definitely wanted to listen to my opinion. It was the first time in my life I realised that my opinion in such big life decisions matter. Somewhere down the line while the kid inside me remains the same, I am realising there is also a grown-up that is getting matured. This incident is what acted as a catalyst in the process.