I’m in a story mood this week ... so not sure if many of you know but my mom is/was a total badass and Entrepreneur!!! She started the first Indian vegetarian restaurant in Atlanta in 1989.
The restaurant was called Indian Delights (and there was a line out the door on the weekends cause she was also an amazing cook!!) but my mom was sorta her own brand. Spit fire, high energy and kind and generous and when I was w her, she’d talk to everyone and hand out cards and tell them to come visit and have a samosa (her absolute specialty!).
And then, she would remember those people when they came in to eat!! She treated them like guests in her home and always offered them something for free (to my father’s chagrin 😂) and she just had this way!!
Once when I was working the front w her, she saw two men getting out of the car and said go ahead and make them the mixed platter and I was like shouldn’t you let them come in and order first mom!? What if ... ummm hard nope, just do it. So yeah they come in w a smile and pull out money to pay and it’s a done deal. These two Rabbis had been coming for years every Tuesday and ordered the same dish every time. She knew every detail about everyone. She honestly cared.
She treated her customers like family, her employees like family and strangers that she’d never met like family. No wonder she could strike up a convo w a stranger at the farmer’s market and know them and their life story so quickly. It was natural for her. That was her. It is her today.
Fast forward 20 years. My daughter is working at the Georgia State Univ gallery and she overhears a conversation between her director and another employee and they are talking about the best samosa and masala Dhosa and, oh, that sweet little fireball of a woman who always smiled and came out and chatted ... well my daughter turns around and asks, which restaurant/who are you talking about? And her director says oh this lovely woman by the name of Mrs Modi...she was amazing! Shivani says, ummm ... that’s my grandma!!
The restaurant had closed about 7 years before that (because my mom had had two major strokes quite young and so it was time for my parents to retire) but her name, her brand, her legacy was still alive!!! Pretty f’n amazing!
I love telling this story because on the days that I’m exhausted and think about all the work it takes to be an entrepreneur and a strong woman, I look to her and see my role model.
The woman who after her second stroke, who had lost her speech, but not her spirit, who pushed me out the door when I didn’t think I could do this thing anymore and said in her limited ability, “GO!!! To your meeting. Go!”
And so I did. I started rebuilding my business a year after I stopped so I could be there for her and for her care as she tried to regain her speech. It was time for me to begin again. That was 6 years ago.
And I’ve had to begin yet again this past year+ due to my health and personal choices in life that I made and have zero regrets about. And so I’ve been remembering so many of the things she would tell me as she thrived and struggled building hers. The laughter and the tears ... I was privy to much of it.
What happened this past week in my business is a testament to what she taught me and I’ll share that on an upcoming post. And, I’m also going to share some stuff that I have never shared before around her story that is also my legacy that I need to own and embrace. Lessons learned and the reason I do all the work that I do - both for my health and my spirituality.