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Himanshu Roy

JWB Blogger

Founder Of Vegan Tiffin Center, Mayavi, Treats JWB With Stories Of Her ‘Pure Path’

  • JWB Post
  •  January 19, 2017


The wrath of rain god had hit Mumbai with all its might, and the city was caught off guard by the sudden monsoon.

A lone car slithered through the streets of the city, sitting in it was a middle-aged couple who wheeled through the memories from their college life.

“It actually felt like the time of our courtship during college when my husband would often wait in the car, and I would run across the road in the pouring rain with an umbrella firmly clutched in my hand. Both of us felt that it was very romantic.”

When JWB spoke with Mayavi Khandelwal, entrepreneur and the founder of , a vegan tiffin service, she fondly spoke of this instance, when in the absence of a delivery man she and her husband braved the rains in Mumbai to deliver the tiffin boxes.

Confession time: When I came to know that I will be interviewing the inimitable Mayavi Khandelwal, I had a feeling of being too inconsequential and insignificant.

Perhaps it was her expertise of being a trained psychotherapist (yup, another feather in her cap) or my apparent awe at the ease with which she made the most out of life, Khandelwal had a heart to heart conversation with JWB during a telephonic interview.

The year was 1990, and at first, she had been wary of the pin drop silence that followed when her husband announced to his parents that his wife wanted to become an entrepreneur.

After all, she was the first bahu in the family who wanted to start her own business! Khandelwal had braced herself for the possibility of a negative reaction from her in-laws.

Six months later, the scene was contrastingly different as standing at a sprawling and regal art gallery at the heart of Mumbai, her father-in-law couldn’t stop raving about his bahu’s exquisite artistry.

Eminent personalities of the city looked appreciatively at the ceramic artworks that Khandelwal had displayed in her solo exhibition.

“I always imagine women to be working,” Khandelwal told JWB as she sifted through the memories of that very moment when she had stepped out of the four walls of her house and became an entrepreneur.

Me: So, how did the entrepreneurship bug bite you?

Khandelwal: (Laughs) Actually, it was my mother who was the first entrepreneur who I saw since I was a little girl. I could never figure out that back in the early 70s, how a woman managed to take care of her kids, be the ideal ‘bahu’ and at the same time have her own designing business. I guess that propelled my interest into having a venture of my own.

Khandelwal casually revealed that not only her mother, her aunt was also interested in entrepreneurship.

Me: Oh, so you are part of a legacy of a long line of women entrepreneurs! You must have it all figured out about starting your first venture.

Khandelwal: Oh, not at all! Actually, contrary to my own family, no woman from the family in which I was married had ever even remotely been associated with the business. It was the boredom of not doing anything that propelled my inner entrepreneur to wake up from hibernation.

She also told us how her husband helped to convince her father-in-law to let her become an entrepreneur.

Khandelwal: You know, there came a time when my father-in-law would sit with me to give me company as I would make ceramic artworks months before the exhibition. Although unsure at first, my husband’s family supported me unconditionally in all those years. My husband has already been a pillar of strength for me.

Me: And then you started your own clothing label before moving on to be trained as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Seriously, how more diverse could you get?

Khandelwal: (chuckles) Don’t forget that in between I also tried my hand in homemade chocolate making business. I would say that it’s all about the desire to learn something new and of course, the ability to manage time effectively.

It was at this point that Khandelwal told me about the fact that how she feels housewives should be paid for their work. Suddenly all ears, I ask her to elaborate.

Khandelwal: To be honest, I don’t think there’s much difference between a homemaker and entrepreneurs. Trust me, I have been there, done that and I feel that if there’s anything our society undermines, it’s the role of a homemaker. Actually, I think that housewives should be paid because they do a hell lot more work than that entails for an employee in an eight hourly shift in the office.

What Khandelwal says next is incredibly witty as well as funny.

“On a lighter note, I would say that women are one step ahead of men as they can do the one thing that men can’t, give birth to a child. Of course, the sperm is needed but what if a woman says to a man, “I give you the egg, why don’t you try!”

Now, we both break into an impromptu bout of laughter.

Me: You are also the founder of , a unique vegan tiffin service. Tell us about it.

Khandelwal: Oh, the idea came to be primarily because I’m myself a vegan. Now, being vegan is different from vegetarian as a vegan doesn’t consume any type of animal products including milk. The benefits of being vegan are literally endless both as healthwise and also for the environment.

“Err…Not even milk?” I ask, a bit hesitantly.

Khandelwal: Let me put it in this way. An animal produces milk for its progeny, not for our consumption. By depriving the calf of milk and consuming it ourselves, we are going against nature. Imagine what if a human baby is deprived of mother’s milk while it is bottled and sold elsewhere? Doesn’t it sound gruesome and monstrous?

Bang on! I don’t find any arguments to contradict the theory.

Me: What’s the coolest thing about being a vegan?

Khandelwal: Undoubtedly, the health benefits. Do you know that I used to suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes? But believe it or not, after I became a vegan I didn’t need the medicines anymore as the diet made all the difference and kept the ailments on the check.

Me: What is your favorite vegan recipes?

Khandelwal: One of my favorites is white butter, which is made with coconut milk and a special Srikhand prepared with cashews and raisins. Both these recipes are mouthwatering.

She told me how the mother of one of her clients whom she helped to adopt a vegan diet had called her out of gratitude.

“She was literally crying on the phone, thanking me for helping her son who earlier used to eat only junk food. It was after eating a meal from My Pure Path that he contacted me and asked for advice about what he should eat and I tried to do my best to help him,” said a Khandelwal in a matter of fact tone.

I ask her about plans to expand her vegan tiffin service system beyond Mumbai.

Khandelwal: I am currently working on creating a pan-India venture based on vegan food and recipes and hope to complete it soon. Until the time you will have to wait!

Well, we wish this vegan crusader the very best in future.

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One thought on “Founder Of Vegan Tiffin Center, Mayavi, Treats JWB With Stories Of Her ‘Pure Path’

  1. 'Charu Shah

    She has very very tasty and unbelievable Vegan food n snacks made they are exclusive dishes invented by her you have to try them to believe it they not made from cows milk


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