The Importance of Dreaming ft. Arpit Gandhe

As a Singaporean Indian, embarking on a start-up is not the conventional choice. We may be the easiest country to set a business up.

 Entrepreneurship has become the trend of late.  There are so many grants out there to aid entrepreneurs.  It sounds so easy. But the reality is different. Ask any successful entrepreneur out there, his journey would have been an extremely difficult and lonely one.

I left a great job in a lucrative industry because I had a dream. It has not been an easy ride.  Your friends think you are being hasty and rash. Your parents have no idea what has gotten into you. Some friends keep offering me job opportunities. To the world at large, you are doing nothing. You become a waste of space. Everyday, there are people out there to kill your dream.

One of the reasons for my current trip to India [Note: Yes I'm in India now] was to realise one dream of mine, to launch a men's fashion brand. This dream has been present for a few years and has literally been the butt of many jokes. The fire had nearly been extinguished many a time  and needed many sources of inspiration.

Little did I think that, I will meet my latest source of inspiration in Pune. He destroyed every stereotype of an Indian I had. Unlike my NRI friend (whose wedding is another reason as to why I am in India), whose fashion sense was non-existent, this boy was a fashion stud. Spiked hair - fancy bike, boyish good looks. He was the total package. Just as I started to think that he was a typical jock, my 2 hours  of conversation with him left me stunned.
Arpit (right)  receiving an award

Arpit Gandhe is an aspiring chef.  In a country where 9 million Indians graduate every year to join the work force, I did not expect to find dreams, that too, involving food. In a culture where most parents would expect their children to be  an engineer or a doctor, this boy wants to be a chef specializing in Italian cuisine.  He does not stop at that. He wants to be food manufacturer, firmly believing that everyone should be be consuming quality ingredients.

That is a huge dream. He was not naive. He was well aware that his journey would be a tough one but he has a plan in place. I was curious about the source of this dream. How did he develop a passion for food?  Born into a family, where his father is a school principal and his mother is a lecturer, one would not usually expect such a career choice. Ironically, it was precisely his parent's careers that left him with a need to start cooking. His parents left for work early and he began to explore the world of cooking in their absence. He started to cook at the tender age of 6 and his journey with food took off.
tween soup -Its a two colour soup made out of roasted green bellpepper & roasted carrot
Arpit may be almost a decade younger than me. But he taught me an important lesson that day. To keep believing in your dreams. The positive energy that he radiated  was just amazing. Where I come from, success is determined by results. This young man made me realise that dreams are not about results and milestones. When you  have a dream,  you need to love the dream in totality. The journey is as important, if not more than the achievement of goal itself.
chicken layered cake
- minced chicken poached into chicken stock and layered with red and yellow Bellpepper accompanied by pickled cabbage

I wish Arpit all the best in his journey. He will be etched in my mind and heart and will serve as a source of inspiration. Thank you Arpit.

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