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An unassuming chef and halwa expert work at the Courtyard by Marriott who makes delicious dishes. Let us have a look at his journey from local Halwai to a successful chef.
He says, “It has taken me 16 years to reach here, I have even gone against my family to pursue my dreams but, in the end, it has all been worth it. I have made everyone proud and made millions happy. There is no greater happiness than to be able to make someone happy and to spread the love. I have trained people who now work in Canada, UAE and other countries across the world. My dream is to make the Indian halwa famous worldwide and recognized on a global platform.”
The was the son of a supervisor at Kanpur Municipal Corporation where Raghavendra was the youngest in the family. Raghavendra’s father was not happy with Raghavendra’s decision to become a chef as he wanted his son to study further but Raghuvendra was clear on his aim.
Raghavendra says, “During my childhood, my father used to often bring home sweets like gulab jamun, rasmalai etc., and they used to be so delicious and would instantly bring happiness to all my family members. Ever since then I always had a fondness in my heart towards Indian sweets. I was 15 when I made my first sweet dish, which was malai gilori, a very famous sweetmeat in Kanpur that people are always crazy for.”
Raghavendra started work at Rama Sweet House in Fatehpur near his house and put in 13 months there. “During my initial days, I used to clean tables, wash utensils, etc. I am very grateful for those days and it has shaped me into the person I am today,” says Raghavendra, in an interview.
At the age of 17, he left Kanpur and came to the city of dreams, Mumbai to pursue his dream.
Raghavendra didn’t have food to eat or clothes to wear. “But being a halwai and preparing mithais took care of everything and made me forget about my struggle,” says Raghavendra.
Initially, he started working at a local sweet shop under Nathu Maharajji under who over 250 people worked. “Whatever I am today is because of Nathu Maharajji. I learned everything there and am most grateful,” says Raghavendra.
“I used to work continuously for 17 to 18 hours a day in order to make ends meet. I have learned that if someone has passion in their hearts towards a certain direction, they will achieve it no matter what. The key is to just believe in yourself and work hard. Today, my father happily says ‘my son works at Courtyard Marriott and is a halwai who is loved by all,’” said Raghavendra in an interview with a leading tabloid.
From working at sweet shops, Raghavendra went on to work at different hotels and restaurants and finally got to work at Courtyard by Marriott. On following one’s dreams and not giving up hope, Raghavendra says, “I would say just be sincere and work hard towards your goal. Don’t think even for a second about the struggle, focus on the destination while working hard and you will succeed. Be creative. Just think that I have to make my way and reach where I want to, no matter what. No excuses and no negativity,” he said.
Raghvendra’s journey has been a real inspiration for people. His journey gives us a lesson to never give up on your dreams and to believe in it.