This 27-year-old woman quit a cushy job as a CA to launch a career she had no training in
“I’ve committed to my passion like I would commit myself in a marriage”
Imagine yourself walking down the aisle in your dream wedding dress surrounded by your loved ones. It’s okay if you haven’t yet found the One, you don’t need them as Grace Gelder proved by marrying herself. She even bought herself a ring. “It brought home to me this idea of commitment, sealing the deal if you like.” Although she married herself as a statement of self-love, she clarified that she’s still open to the idea of sharing a wedding with someone else one day.
What Gelder achieved by marrying herself, Natasha Gandhi, a 27-year-old based in Mumbai did by quitting CA and pursuing her real passion — becoming a chef. “I promised myself I would do something that gave my life purpose, made me happy. What wakes me up every day is the excitement I have for cooking, discovering new recipes, finding my own, really.”
Making this commitment to herself, the self-taught chef says, is what has brought her to become the proud owner and founder of the House of Millets, a gluten-free and vegan desserts brand. She was also one of the top 5 participants in the sixth edition of MasterChef India, where she rubbed shoulders with culinary giants like Chef Vikas Khanna and Chef Ranveer Brar.
Gandhi’s story came to our attention thanks to a collaboration with DeBeers Forevermark, whose new campaign redefines the meaning of ‘I do’, one of the most significant and time-honoured expressions of intent, an eternal promise. Though traditionally thought of in terms of a couple taking their wedding vows, these iconic words stand for personal pledges of all kinds: to love, friendship, family, nature and more.
For Gandhi, ‘I do’ became a vow to herself to follow her dream. “I’ve made an ‘I do’ promise to myself and my passion for cooking. I’ve committed to it like I would commit myself in a marriage,” she adds.
That determination helped the entrepreneur power through difficult patches, from working around the clock to convincing her skeptical family that she was making the right decision.
“I started working at a food and cookery studio as a marketing professional so that I could be closer to the action. But, at the same time, I was also doing my own thing so I would wake up at 5-6 AM, prep for my orders. My orders would leave at 10-10:30 in the morning after which I would go to the studio to work because it was a full-time job. I would come back home at 7-8 in the night and then prep for the next day before going to sleep. I had to put in more work because I didn’t have a professional degree, but I think it was worth it.”
Gandhi is a strong believer in the ‘everything happens for a reason’ philosophy. ”My training in chartered accountancy has helped me manage my own money better. I understand costing, accounting and taxation. But at the same time, I don’t regret quitting it because I’ve been able to follow my passion.”
From being the cause of concern in her family, Gandhi is now an inspiration to the younger generation. “My younger cousins say ‘we want to grow up and be like you’, it’s like a huge thing I never imagined. So the moment when you’re inspiring other people, your life has definitely changed and you want to make the most of it.”