Around 7-8 years ago, when I was between jobs and shifting careers, someone I knew suggested that I should try an “Alternate Career”. Owing to a history the person had, of always trying to establish her superiority to those around her combined with my immaturity, I thought it was another of those thinly-veiled put-downs.
Recently, Dave pointed out to me that my taste in music was very “Alternative”. And when I reflected on that, realized that my preference for Alternate wasn’t limited to music alone. I seem to be drawn to all things Alternate, from movies to decor to careers. My low-tolerance for mainstream cinema (of course there are exceptions), my new-found love for Alternative music, my finding inspiration in women who have sought Alternate careers all seem to be pointing at an Alternate life for me. I also realize now that a lot of interests I had developed over the last year and half such as gardening and growing my own vegetables were all leading up to this. But maybe this isn’t a new phenomenon with me. Till just a few years ago, I thought my mindset was representative of the “common people”, but I realized in the last couple of years that my thought and mindset is far-removed from the “common”.
To me it appears as if, all of a sudden so many women around me are making careers out of their hobbies and passion. An ex-colleague tells stories to kids for a living, another woman paints wall murals, one more is a home-baker and cake decorator, another client has was a recruiter but is now starting off a baking business from her kitchen. All these women have chartered their own course and seem to be living life on their own terms. It’s hard not be inspired.
I attended a chocolate-making class on Saturday.
Since I am an avid-baker, I thought it is essential for me to be know how to make chocolates too. My chocolate-making trainer was another case-in-point of women who have quit the corporate life to pursue their interests. She quit her job 5 years ago and today is a chocolate-making trainer and supplies kilos and kilos of chocolates and hundreds of cup-cakes to clients. All of which she makes herself. She has also spawned off a number of Chocolatiers and chocolate-making trainers in Hyderabad. Another inspirational story that nudges me in the start that baking-business direction.
Coming back to the classes, I learned to make 12 varieties of chocolates in 3 hours. Chocolate-making is pain-stakingly exhausting even if you are making them from slabs of chocolates. It was a lot of fun making those and chatting with my trainer, but funnily I was all drained out by the end of it (it might also have been the series of activities that I was busy with the day before and the lack of caffeine in my blood for 2 days in a row).
But when I saw the chocolates after unmoulding them, they were totally worth the effort. My trainer, Arundati, is also an avid-blogger and was named “Hyderabad’s most popular blogger” by Hyderabad-based publication. If you want easy-to-make vegetarian recipes, check out her blog Escapades and you’ll love it like I do.
I guess that the girl who suggested an Alternative Career, saw some things in me long before I saw them in myself. Or maybe I did see them but didn’t know that I could consider making a career of them. It’s funny, how it sometimes takes a person far-removed from you to spot what you can’t see in yourself. I hope all this inspiration around propels me into starting that part-time baking business I’ve been thinking and re-thinking in my head for the last few months.