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Cover – Poonam Maini Tandoor Indian Cuisine & Share Care Global

Poonam Maini

Poonam Maini

Tandoor Fine Indian Cuisine & Share Care Global

Create Your Own Destiny

By Kim Burns

Photography By James Corwin Johnson

We are born into this world under our parents or guardians experiences and rules. They care, educate and provide for us the best they can with the knowledge they have earned. The world is full of traditions and rituals, commandments or lessons on the way you’re supposed to live. We may feel bound to follow the teachings of our elders, yet their guidance may not be what’s best for us. When that is the case, it takes a strong person to find their way out of the burden that was placed upon them.

Poonam MainiThink back to when you were 17…… What were you doing? Getting ready to be an adult? Wanting to experience more freedom and develop a career path? Or maybe you wanted to travel the world?

Imagine that vision, that excitement, the feeling of being on top and in control of your destiny….. Imagine it now being torn from you. Your passions left unconsidered and you are given a new destiny. You can’t scream or run away. It is tradition, your culture. The turmoil that you feel is kept inside and buried for the sake of family.

Poonam was able to take her negative life experiences and create out of it a fulfilling and positive future. As a young girl, family meant everything to her. She looked up to and respected her father and mother. She cared for her family and contributed what was expected for a young girl growing up in India in the 70’s. Years later that family concept propelled Poonam into creating her legacy today.

After beginning her new marriage and life in India, Poonam came to find that the dream marriage was not how this love story was going. Even though young women in India at this time were raised to know that “an arrangement” could happen, many thought of it as a fairy tale, the prince on a white horse. Poonam lived with her in-laws through the first 2 years of her marriage and became the wife, daughter in law and caretaker that was expected of her even though her husband was rarely around. Lacking in commitment to the marriage tradition from the beginning, her spouse returned to the United States without her. When he was at the family home, their relationship involved abuse and was disheartening to the life she wanted to live.

The marriage could have ended within 2 months yet tradition, fear of judgement and being a role model to siblings kept Poonam from leaving. Luckily, life provides us with distractions to aid us in overcoming its struggles.

With the birth of her daughter, Poonam felt a surge of hope that there may be a better future for her marriage. The year following the birth, she moved to California to be with her husband alone for the first time. A vision of a happy family floated around in her mind. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

Shubi, Poonam, Shamini and Sheena Maini
Shubi, Poonam, Shamini and Sheena Maini

Things did go well for a while after moving to a new country. Although difficult at first, Poonam adjusted to the culture change and the family decided to move to Sarasota, Florida, a better area to raise a family than California. It was short lived though and another move was made to Orlando. During this time the family started to purchase businesses. It started with a gas station in Lakeland and developed into a small shopping center here in Sarasota. Like a lot of food service businesses, the center became a money pit.

In 2001, another beautiful distraction came to support her through more difficult times. Out of gratitude for her staff, Poonam treated them to an Indian meal at a restaurant. Sadly, it was not a presentation of real Indian cooking. Many would have seen this as an occurrence noteworthy only to complain about. Yet, the world looks out for those that serve others and an idea was born. Tandoor Restaurant: Fine Indian Cuisine.

Chef Sonu
Chef Sonu

Having a passion for cooking from her father, Poonam instantly connected with the life of a restaurateur. Within 3 weeks Tandoor was up and running! “Do not procrastinate,” states Poonam. “My father built his wealth. He came from poverty and worked 18 hours a day to rise above.” His vacation from his nonstop life was to come and educate Poonam and her children on not making excuses and getting things done. Tandoor was built out of his dedication to helping others in the struggle of life.

In 2007, the day came to take back control of her destiny. Though her years in an “arranged” life were hard, it would all be required to grow the seed she had unknowingly been embedded with. She used her resources and laid out a plan. She got out. Caring only about feelings of her children and family, she let go of the material possessions and found solace in the small family she built.

This is where many feel her story begins. Where she walked away and created her destiny. Being unable to talk about the negative in life allows fear to stop you from growing. Having lived a fearful life for many years, this is where she turned the page and started a new chapter. Each chapter before has built up what is being manifested now. “On the other side of fear is success”.

Poonam plunged into a depressed state. She had held in so much for so long. A person’s psyche can only take so much before it needs to confide in another soul. Her amazing friend and neighbor, Pauline, was able to bear the weight of her past and clear the way to an abundant life. In order to survive, Poonam needed to dedicate her life to the career that would ultimately sustain her survival and grow the philanthropic seed that was planted in her through her father. Being a single mother with no other source of financial means, bringing in the money to support your children in having wonderful life experiences can be costly to your memories. You miss many moments. Happily, wonderful moments can be made anytime. And that’s what she did.

Poonam’s Father, Tarsuem Lal Maini
Poonam’s Father, Tarsuem Lal Maini

In 2011, life happened. Her father passed away. Travel plans to India were made. Back to a culture that taught her much about what destiny means. 13 days to honor a man that guided you to the person you are today almost doesn’t seem enough. Yet within that short period of time, Poonam came to learn of her true destiny. “Do what you can on a small basis with intent to go bigger by including community support”. Add people to your sphere of influence to service humanity in a bigger way.

During the 13 day ceremony, 3 women approached the family home. Prior to entering, a practice akin to rituals done in a temple appeared to be performed. Mesmerized by the symbolic meaning, Poonam approached the women. What could this possibly mean? Unbeknownst to her, she was about to discover how much generosity and love one person could spread.

When the women spoke it was to say, “You lost a father, we lost a God”. This was an immense connection to why she is being drawn to help others. “Servicing others is not restricted by a country, a land or city.” Giving makes her happy.

In 2016, Share Care Global was created, again within 3 weeks supporting all those in need globally. Share Care Global has many future projects ahead. There are so many ways to help either in the United States and India, her native country. The more service and hope that is shared will lead the way to a more compassionate world.

Tandoor restaurant began donating 10% of its proceeds. Sheena Maini, daughter, owner and Vice President has been instrumental in making all this happen. From the young age of 12, Sheena has worked hard to support her family and set in motion where Tandoor is today. It should be no surprise that she is in the process of completing her Master of Business Administration program. When you are fortunate enough to be around her, take a moment to appreciate her positive energy and passion.

Along with a donation of land from her Poonam’s brother, Achin Maini and dedication from Chef Sonu, she was able to launch her vision. The first food shelter was created on June 20, 2017. In the beginning, the food service was feeding up to 800 people a day. That is a fantastic start to a new charity start up. The food shelter is maintaining an average of 400 people served a day, 6 days a week. Wow!

Last year’s “A Night in India” Gala raised money and donations to start a Woman’s Entrepreneurship. 25 sewing machines were donated by John Saputo of Gold Coast Eagle Distributing in Sarasota, Florida. This enabled the women to create clothing that would bring income as well as support the food shelter to be self sustainable.

Currently Share Care Global is procuring two ambulances for use in the community of Garhdiwala, India. Knowing that these efforts are saving lives due to lack of emergency transportation for under privilege families makes the nominal stresses of charity work fulfilling. With so many future endeavors, from supporting the medical disciplines to creating new alternatives for women and children with needs, assisting the homeless, and providing for schooling needs, Share Care Global will be a force to reckon with.

If you would love to learn more about how to be a part of the change that is underway, please stop in at Tandoor and say hello! Your generosity assists in achieving our goal of changing lives by serving others.
Poonam Maini
Poonam Maini

Tandoor Indian Cuisine
www.TandoorSarasota.net

Share Care Global
www.ShareCareGlobal.com

(941) 926.3077
pm.tandoor@gmail.com
8453 Cooper Creek Boulevard
Bradenton, FL 34201

Copyright © 2018 REAL Exclusive Magazine
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