““I can and I will” is something my teacher had taught me long ago and it continues to resonate with me and my life.
Growing up in an ancient mansion in the heart of North Kolkata, where tradition and food culture come alive, I grew up loving the charm and character of the city. Travel was a big part of my childhood and my father made sure we got to do that at least twice a year.
My love for nature brought on the love for biology and I pursued a career as a teacher that I thoroughly enjoyed.
I had observed that students from the rural sector have had to walk 16 km to attain education and when the money is tight, they are made to work to help support their families. A believer in the power of education by experience, I hope and work to establish a café-school where the students can learn to live in the real world. Vocational training, sustenance, and learn life skills along with creative skills that they can build on as I had learnt at an early age the beauty of taking in each experience and converting it into something productive.
Being a classical dancer, lover of art, admirer of nature, traveler and an entrepreneur has me taking all the experiences of my life and honing them into my blog @KonizFoodWheels
Simultaneously, my father’s ailing health had me return to Kolkata and I was at crossroads when I was selected me as the youngest teacher as part of a team of 17 representatives from all over India in an International Teacher Exchange Program that was held in Japan. As elated as I felt for being selected, I was also apprehensive whether I would be able to see my father upon my return.
My father had worked all his life in the private sector and had given his family everything. He had given me the education and the strength that I needed to lead a life of dignity and in his last month, with all financial savings having been exhausted brought me to take on my career and passions with a fervour I know he would be proud of.
My belief in the Circle of Life has me moving on with unwavering faith and optimism that life’s hurdles are a given. There will be a good change around the corner after the darkest hour. A person should be able to experience the worst moments it all to be able to appreciate the good ones.”
Koniz Food Wheels
Interviewed and transcribed by Maryam Syed