The bittersweet flavors ​of Meenu’s life

Life is rewarding. That is what Meenu believed even 30 years back when she moved out of an abusive relationship with her two daughters.

Every night, her husband would come, satisfy his hunger, and leave her powerless. She had been brushing them under the carpet. But, one day when he cursed her in front of the children, she knew what to do next. Enough was enough.

Next day, when he lay motionless, she packed a small bag with some tattered saris, little jewellery that she had managed to keep hidden and some money. She opted for conscious uncoupling, picked her daughters, and took the uncharted path of finding her own destiny.

With the first rays of sunshine, she took an auto to the Railway Station. There she met her childhood friend Amla, who took stock of her situation and assured to help her.

But it was her love for food that resurrected her dwindling life. She decided to work as a cook in the households, and thus started a new chapter in her life. Her mouthwatering dishes received heaps of praises.

With her small savings and a bank loan, she started a mini-restaurant and named it ‘Didi’s Kitchen’. After that there was no looking back. As her success grew, so did the jealousy of the so-called friends. The competition grew fierce as other restaurants opened in the neighborhood. They employed stealthy and dirty tactics to tarnish her business. She realized that serving good quality and tasty food alone was not sufficient; advertising played an equally important role in today’s world.

One of her regular client, Alok, was a reporter in the leading newspaper. She decided to ask him for help. Three days later, on a misty Saturday morning, people were curious to find a News Van in front of Didi’s Kitchen. Within minutes, the entire neighbourhood thronged around the shop, watching Meenu
Didi in her checkered yellow cotton sari charmingly answering to the reporter.

“Life was a jumble for me. But I was determined to sail through the gusty winds. I was lucky to have Amla and some other friends who supported me during my difficult times. After years of toiling as a household cook, I was thrilled to start my own business. I have realized that success and failure are just part of life, they do not define us. I do not become complacent after success, nor do I breakdown after a failure. Success tells me what I did right; failure teaches me what should not have been done. I work hard to ensure that past mistakes are not repeated. For me, every day is a new challenge.”

Alok signs off by saying, “From a troubled marriage to a successful entrepreneur, Meenu Didi’s life is an inspiration for the women who are struggling to find a stranglehold in the arena of life. She takes each day as it comes and embraces it. For her, tomorrow is just another day. We wish her all the success in
life.”

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Amrita Lahiri
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