I am a food blogger

Last night, I had a bit of a breakdown. I had been fighting it for a bit, but in my mother’s home, in the midst of warmth and security, I gave in and let it all out. As an Arts student, I have always been ridiculed for my choice of vocation. And had it not been for my supportive family, I probably would have buckled under pressure and quit school and turned into a reclusive anti-social element (not that I’m too far away from being one now, but you get the idea).

There was a temporary phase in my life when I did well, academically. I was studying English Literature under the fine tutelage of the city’s best teachers, enjoying every moment of every class, every hour of library silence, every exam, even. It showed on the mark sheets, and for the first time since primary school, I was in the “cream” of the class. When I finished my Masters and went on to take several jobs as editor, teacher, and instructional designer, I was happy with my work. Happy that I was respected—or so I thought. Then, when I discovered I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to quit and be a stay-at-home mum. Around that time, my love for food blogging was blossoming, and I knew I was in a happy place. Apparently, however, it’s not something that garners respect in certain circles.

My parents and brother are super-enthusiastic; my father gifted me the camera I use so that I could take more “professional” photographs. My brother shoots and edits all the videos I put up on this blog. I am blessed to have a supportive husband in MK who pushes me to experiment, to write, to expand my horizons. It is he who has helped me accept the fact that my real happiness is in a career that has something to do with food. It fit in perfectly with my decision to stay at home and watch my daughter grow. Surprisingly, I have been more regular and have probably bettered my craft since Avanee’s birth. I wrote 30-odd posts in 2010, the year Avanee was born; and one year since, I have already crossed 60 posts. In a strange way, I think Avanee’s birth gave my life direction.

So, having decided that food is the way to go, I am seeking work, enjoying my “struggle” as I go along. There are up days and there are down days. And there are the days when you wonder if you’ll ever be able to wean your toddler and find your independence. But the worst kind are the days when someone comes along and says something nasty and discouraging without even realizing it. And although your head (and your husband) tells you not to pay attention to it, you do. You think about it all the time, you lose sleep over it, and one day, sitting next to your mum after a particularly perfect meal, you break down and let the tears roll, wallowing in self pity for a few minutes. Not realizing, that although you’re still your mum’s daughter, you’re also your daughter’s mum now. And she’s watching you. She’s looking at you with a smile and trying to tell you that’s it’s OK. And when that adorable smile makes you burst into tears some more, she climbs up on your lap and gives you a tight hug. She’s all of 19 months old, and to her, whatever you do is perfect. She just doesn’t want to see mummy cry.

Nothing else could have strengthened my resolve like my daughter’s encouraging hug. Everything else can eat dirt.

I am a food blogger. And that’s what I’ll be.

Comments (27)

  1. chinmayie @ love food eat November 28, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Saee! I can totally relate to you… Hugs!
    I am (Was?) a graphic designer and i loved my work. But I stopped working the day I found out I was pregnant. My life was all about my daughter ever since. I just was happier this way. Nothing has made me more satisfied than bringing up my little girl! My mom was always there for me and I knew that I wanted to be like my mom.
    Then food blogging happened! I just knew that this is what I am meant to be! I totally agree with you, I too beloive that my daughter made me realize what my 'real' love is. I have been soooo much more productive after having her.
    Now I am more than sure that I will not really be a designer again. I know food is my passion. Again I am not ambitious! lol… I am just content in my role as a blogger, mother and wife! I LOVE my life 🙂

  2. Bong Mom November 28, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Hugs Saee. What you are doing is what you love and enjoy and who cares what someone else thinks ? You are lucky to have so much support and a lovely family and that is all that matters.

  3. Anonymous November 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    After my recent visit to India I have learnt the wonderful art of letting mental talk through one ear and let it go unhindered and directly through the other ear. Girl I don't even blog, I sit at home and go through food blogs and experiment in the kitchen, I do not give a hoot what others think.
    Its my life and I do what makes ME happy. And about your daughter giving you hugs, thats the best no? Mine sits on my lap and rubs my face saying, 'paapaaa'!

    suma/SJ

  4. Sayantani November 28, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    what can I say am totally going through the same phase. I used to have a very lucrative career as a designer.but when after my son's birth I have decided to stay at home and do what I love its not easy for others to accept. sometimes they tease, sometimes they complain and sometimes they just compare me with others…there are some bad moments when I feel am stuck and I suffer from self pity but I know where my passion lies.
    we need to believe in ourselves more than what others do. am learning that gradually…

  5. vinaya November 28, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Saee, you are doing what makes you happy, and that is what matters at the end of the day.And look what a splendid job you are doing 🙂 Dont let anyone tell you otherwise.

  6. healthyfeasts November 28, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Big hug Saee! Very few people are lucky enough to finally find something that they are so happy doing! Keep up the wonderful blogging and enjoy your calling. Looking forward to your next post…

  7. Shireen Sequeira November 28, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Saee, it was as if I was reading my own story & sentiments being written down. I had a fulfilling career before I gave it all up when my son was born and have never regretted my decision. Like you, I am watching my son grown. Life is not perfect, I am not the perfect mom nor wife nor a home maker (nor a blogger) – but somehow, seeking a balance between all these different roles makes life peacefully perfect – it is for me whether anyone understands that or not. I think you have come a long way and you are touching lives in more ways than you know. So keep going & don't let any remark come in your way. At the end of the day if you are happy, well, that's all that is needed in life. Wish u all the happiness & a big hug!!

  8. BrainDumps November 28, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    U are doing a great job Saee…you have been an inspiration to many in many ways..keep it up..!!
    -Mythili

  9. Poonam November 28, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Saee, I've been checking ur blog since Cactus days, your recipes, the pictures make me want to be a better cook. I have tried several of the recipes here and loved it. U really do inspire a lot of people, pls dont let ppl make u feel otherwise.

  10. Rentu November 29, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Saee, pls continue the good job of blogging, it is something you rock at, i have even forced my husband to read a couple of your posts.
    Also the command over language that you possess makes it very evident that youd tutelage from the Best.

  11. Divya Kudua November 29, 2011 at 1:56 am

    Like everyone has already mentioned above,you seem to echo each one of our sentiments.What about me who supposedly(in their words)is,well educated-no kids and still doesn't work or make good use of her time?People will say whatever they want to,just ignore and listen to your heart,that always seems to do the trick.Happy blogging!!

  12. Priti November 29, 2011 at 5:48 am

    Saee!!! A big hug to you!!! I can see that happening and can totally feel the hurt that you did…everytime you are down, or when people who matter to you don't see things the way you do…feel the strength of love and support your family and all of us here who love you and the blog have for you. That will make you strong from within and will help you to have faith on yourself and your decisions in life.

    I am sure there will be others like me who are so inspired by your blog and everything you do. Your writing is so beautiful, I often find myself re-reading your posts. Your experiements and the very will and determination to go beyond the accepted norm pushes me to try different things myself. Your writing has evolved with time, has gotten so much better, I wish you never ever stop! Avanee and her pics on your blog have always been like the cherry on the cake! 🙂

    I know its not possible to forget the pain caused by someone but try and forgive them for they lack the very vision of seeing it from your perspective. Have faith in yourself, your abilities and your talent (trust me! you have tons of it!!) and do what you feel is right! 🙂

  13. Alka November 29, 2011 at 6:14 am

    Saee, since when, we, the modern clan of @home moms started bothering abt , wht the world will say? It's our life, our world, our wish, our dreams andprobably the only person who can have a say, is the hubby (in case of financial crunches)..Now when u are 'just a food blogger','doing nothing',they are talking absurd…but picture this..u start working, leaving ur kid in a day care…then some other ppl will look down upon u for 'ignoring' ur kid for the sake of money and independence..heard the song?'Kuch toh log kahenge, logo ka kaam hai kehna..' so dont worry, chill and hug that little angel tightly..tht will shoo away all the pain 🙂

  14. Anonymous November 29, 2011 at 6:15 am

    Saee, it takes a lot of determination to follow your heart and allow yourself to do what you feel passionate about, it takes courage to flow against the stream and take a different path, and tremendous strength to not be affected by all the unconsiderate remarks that come your way. Keep up the good work and don't ever ever stop! You are the best!!! Love you loads!!!

    – Priti

  15. Anonymous November 29, 2011 at 6:31 am

    This song is specially dedicated to you Saee!!!

    Kuch toh log kahenge,logo ka kaam hain kehna
    chodo bekar ki bato me kahi beet na jaye raina

    kuch reet jagat ki aisi hai,har ek subah ki sham huyi,
    tu kaun hai? tera naam hain kya? sita bhi yaha badanam huyi
    fir kyo sansar ki bato se bhig gaye tere naina?

    humko jo tane dete hai,hum khoye hain in rang raliyo me
    humney unko bhi chup-chup ke aate dekha in galiyo me
    yeh sach hain jhuthi baat nahi tum bolo yeh sach hain na?

  16. Harini November 29, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Be a food blogger, Saee! It suits you and brings out the best in you. Why care what others think?

  17. Anonymous November 29, 2011 at 6:48 am

    You forgot to mention your mother's contribution to your beautiful blog 🙂 She makes these mesmerising sketches, I haven't seen any other food blog with such beautiful artwork.

  18. Saee Koranne-Khandekar November 29, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Thanks for your encouragement, everyone! I am overwhelmed and humbled by the response to this post. This blog has been my sounding board, and I am very grateful for having found friends like you through it. I know I will always remember what each one of you has written here. Thank you so much once more.

    Love,
    Saee

  19. Anjali November 29, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Saee if this blog spins some money or opportunity which only time can tell, you will see a turn around. Those same crabs will place you on a different level. Care 2 hoots for them gal. You know what you are doing and are happy doing it, that is what matters!

  20. Anita November 30, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Saee ( I am not sure if I have written in earlier…), being there for your children, especially in their formative years, is critical. It can be either of the parents, or even grandparents.

    I was lucky that I could be there for my son till he went to college, while also getting to work in a field that I love. I strongly believe that he is a better person because he always had one parent, usually both (poor thing), and also a set of grandparents around.

    We have a home office that has eventually grown into a separate floor of the house. But everyone is not that lucky. Some of us have to make the difficult choice of choosing between staying home and working. I respect both choices. I know I am happier that I get to practice in my field. After all, I did make a choice to leave my family (the son and husband) to pursue graduate studies far away. They made sacrifices so that I could pursue my dream. All of us are happy that I did.

    For you it is important that you be there for your daughter. But if a comment from someone who doesn't matter and doesn't care has affected you so much then maybe somewhere being a stay-at-home mother isn't enough for you; you need to be more. And that is okay too! Give Avani the time she needs, and then once she starts regular school maybe you can go back to the work you seem to have enjoyed before. You can always quit if you think it doesn't workout!

    Having a good cry always helps. I am sure you are already feeling a lot better! It is okay for your girl to know that it is okay to cry!

    All the best. And, of course, you are a food blogger as well! I follow your blog regularly even though I may not leave comments. "Great pic, great post," does tend to grate after a few, and now that I know you are a literature grad (another area that I had wished to pursue; one lifetime is not enough!), I have to be even more careful! Go get'em!

  21. Anonymous December 2, 2011 at 7:06 am

    In the mood to say something not so nice to whoever made those nasty comments to you…but in the spirit of the holiday season will instead send a warm hug across to you.

    Mrinal

  22. Anonymous February 5, 2012 at 5:22 am

    Saee, you are what you are — and that is a wonderful cook, a fantastic writer, a food lover and a blogger and above all passionate about what you like to do and you do it with dedication, rigor and love— hats off to you.
    A very big hug from me and KEEP ON WRITING — BECAUSE YOU ARE JUST AWESOME!

    Lots of Love,
    Swati

  23. Pingback: When did my baby grow up?

  24. dassana July 11, 2012 at 2:04 am

    aaah…. somebody spoke very nastily about blog just yesterday and my day plus nights have not been so good 🙁

    hubby & friends says ignore… but can i ignore…. i cannot…. we bloggers have these moments. don’t we?

    only i did not cry… but crying does help… it was just that i got so angry with so much fire raging in my belly… my temper can be ballistic at times….

    was going through your a recipe post of yours and it linked to this post. i can relate with what you say. i left a plush corporate job just to be with my family…. looking back i don’t even regret the comforts, perks, salary and international travels my job offered.

    i love what i am doing now. it is the same fire that motivates me from within to blog and photograph in spite of all these set backs & such nasty comments.

    kudos to you for writing such a post 🙂

  25. arundati April 22, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Hope you are feeling better, life is all about choices and they are not easy to make… following your heart is what helps always. good luck!

  26. geetha April 22, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Wow Saee ! It takes courage to do what you did ! It takes more courage to acknowledge truthfully what you are going through ! Let me tell you, You are doing fantabulously well ! Take care

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