Roti and Makaan; How this woman turned it into her passion | Delhi | Wade Asia Special | Women Architects


City life and its vagaries are known to all. It is an apparent norm that moving to a big city is synonymous with having to leave one’s roots behind. “India lives in its villages” as they say, and she doesn't resonate with that in its entirety. Over the years, her moving to the polluted city of New Delhi remained mixed with the underlying guilt of having raised children in the lap of pollution, chemical-laden foods and lost touch with their roots of nature. To overcome this Manu decided to put up a fight against this by taking this as a challenge and putting in her share. Read this uplifting and interesting story of Manu Goel, the Director of Novarch Architects. The story is a part of SURFACES REPORTER (SR)'s campaign in association with WADE ASIA where we invited women in Design to share their inspiring stories from 2020. 

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Not many of us, even more so the millennials might be alienated from the pure joy derived from running bare feet in the muddy fields, having savoured the joys of the countryside. While enjoying the glittery city life, Manu had a longing for reconnecting with her roots.

Having an eerie reaction to Bottle gourds being injected and vegetables of other kind being tampered in any shape, way or form, she quickly came to a realisation that cultivating food for self-consumption could be a transformative experience.

After a while, she embarked upon this journey and hasn't looked back ever since. Each day has been perceived as a playground for a new opportunity, life, creation and greater fulfilment.

In her words, she likes to portray this experience as "At moments we might overlook our blessings and take them for granted although, but our skills and experiences stay unique to us".

A New Challenge

As the years passed, she strategized her cultivation by limiting it to one new vegetable per season, as it would keep help foster balance while maintaining diversity.

After having successfully executed this on her rooftop she moved towards the ground and acquired a small piece of land on the outskirts of the city all the while catering full time to her professional and family life.

After it giving it, some thought she finally made the leap of faith turning the barren land into fertile and food-producing.

though this seemed daunting at first as she likes to say it "I am not one to give up easy" and indeed this the spirit that leads to her rushing twice a week to the farm early during dawn in order to make it just in time to reach the office.

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A few months passed and her hard work was starting to pay off, she was now looking at a lush farm producing vegetables of all kinds in abundance. To this, she felt a sense of gratitude expressing it by sharing the produce with friends and family who've been supportive throughout this endeavour of hers.

Hope for The Future

Having achieved all of this, she had something to inspire us with "We design professionals impact many lives, through our work, through the choices that we help people make, and through the vision that we help build for our clients.

Many a time, our choices in our own lives also end up impacting our work. It is with great humility and a deep sense of fulfilment I say, that the only glass ceiling we have above us, that may stop us from growing, is the one we have in our mind.

Nothing is a distant dream if you truly so desire and are ready to work towards it with a focussed mind, because the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

Manu's story goes to show that the only one standing between your goal and passion is no one but you. And most importantly hard work and dedication will certainly pay off.

Keep reading SURFACES REPORTER for more such articles and stories.

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