Each one of us go about life in our own way. And while the trials and tribulations we encounter are not same, it goes without saying that, in a lot of ways, it is us who determine the quality of life we end up leading. The chances we take and the opportunities we let go eventually shape our lives. However, it is reassuring is it is never too late to lead the life one had foreseen for themselves. Recently, a post shared by Humans of Bombay on their Facebook page reaffirms this. The owner of Kaarma Indian Cuisine Redefined, a restaurant in the US shared his story, saying how he opened the restaurant at the age of 55.
Although he was always interested in food, he got the opportunity much later in life and he grabbed it with both hands. “When I say we started from scratch I mean it. Although I understood the ins and outs of a successful restaurant, I had no experience running a business. Even at that age, I was scared and uncertain about the future,” he said.
But he persisted and soon through word of mouth their restaurant sales went up and the next year they won the ‘Best Indian Restaurant’ Award in his town. At the age of 63 he opened another restaurant and it is thriving as well! So I guess all I’m trying to say is, it’s never too late to run behind your passion like wildfire — we have ONE life, and there’s no ‘right time’ to begin…the ‘right time’ is whatever you choose to make it!” he advises.
“While growing up, I had a keen interest in food. While my other friends were playing outside, I would watch my mother cook and I could list out every ingredient in the most complicated dish — in one bite! Over time, as the pressure of doing well in school increased, I allowed my passion to take a back seat and focused on making money. At 20, I started working in film production and became financially independent. It was after I got married that I decided to get a full time job in management. I then got the opportunity to move to New York and become the manager of an upscale restaurant — I had come full circle and gone back to the kitchen! I worked there for 15 long years as my wife and I started to build our lives together. We lived a cozy, comfortable life where we saved a lot of the money we made for the future…whatever that had in store for us. Turns out, it was one of the toughest, yet fulfilling decisions we had to make. At the age of 55, I got the opportunity to open up my own restaurant!
This place had been a restaurant in the past, but was completely run down. The offer had come up in passing, but after the idea was planted in my head, I started losing sleep over the opportunity. Was it a mid life crisis? I had always spoken to my wife about my real dream — the dream of owning and running my own restaurant. I knew I was made to do it, but it would require us to use all our savings and invest it all in a dream…I wasn’t sure. But my wife is such that she insisted I go for it — within a few minutes she selflessly agreed to put my dreams before hers…I still don’t know how I got so lucky. She left her comfort zone, her job, packed our bags, and within a blink of the eye, travelled four hours away to a completely new place to set up shop.
When I say we started from scratch I mean it. Although I understood the ins and outs of a successful restaurant, I had no experience running a business. Even at that age, I was scared and uncertain about the future. With no man power or external help, my family and I started the business. My brother took the floor while my wife and I handled the kitchen— I used to wash dishes! I had put in all my savings into fixing up the place, so we bootstrapped everything! Slowly, through word of mouth our restaurant sales went up and the next year we ended up winning the ‘Best Indian Restaurant’ Award in my town — I was elated! It was only once I turned 60, that I took my first day off — until then, we were working like any other start up — 24/7! I still go every single day to work — there’s nothing like the sweet pain of a hard day’s work and I guess it paid off, because at the age of 63, I opened up another restaurant, a vegan cafe right across the road…and that’s thriving as well! So I guess all I’m trying to say is, it’s never too late to run behind your passion like wildfire — we have ONE life, and there’s no ‘right time’ to begin…the ‘right time’ is whatever you choose to make it!”