In conversation with the conscientious, highly balanced and always smiling Asha Ranka, partner at Ranka Jewellers, CMO of “Chosen By Tejpal Ranka“.  Asha has an amazing sense of humor and zen attitude towards every situation.  Her ability to take firm decisions, to stay calm and support her husband and family has led her to tackle day-to-day challenges seamlessly.  She is an introvert by nature which makes her a beautiful strong woman whose spiritual belief in prayers enables her to approach life happily. Asha was recently interviewed by Women TV on a special segment on Power Couple.  She plans various events with her creative team at Ranka Jewellers for her clients and staff.  She is loved by her employees because of her genuinely honest and empathetic attitude towards each and every employee. She is an active member of the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), Ficci Flo and attends several industry events. Asha shares with us her love for Pune city, visits to Jain temples, favorite books and restaurants.

What do you love about Pune?

I visited Pune quite frequently as a child to stay with my aunt during summer vacations and gradually fell in love with this place. It is not fast paced and people here are very friendly, making the city easily adaptable to movers. The Osho Ashram is a huge meditation resort in the heart of the city where people go to introspect and find peace. It is one of the most well-known places in the city. Pune is also popular for its historical structures such as The Shaniwar Wada and Dagdusheth Ganpati. I also love its proximity to short getaway places. The hill stations- Mahabaleshwar and Lonavala are two beautiful, small, and relaxing places we visit occasionally since it’s located close by, making it convenient for a weekend holiday.

What food is Pune special for?

The street food in Pune is mouthwatering. The matki bhel, A1 sandwich, and Kalyan bhel are some dishes one should not miss out when they are in the city. But my all time favorite is Garden Vada Pav. It is served with a sweet and spicy chutney you won’t find anywhere else, green chili, and sliced onions. Another one of my favorite food dish that you cannot miss if you love spice is Bedekar misal. It is extremely spicy and is served with a special farsan, chopped onion, and lime. Missal at Bedekar is famous for its authenticity and consistent taste.

Name some of the inspiring books you have read.

I am currently reading Ikigai by Francesc Miralles and Hector Garcia. It has guided me to the path of keeping myself busy and exploring my passions. I am also fond of Indian mythological books and have read Meluha, Palace of Illusions, and Jaya among many others as they have stories which teach different life and moral lessons.

You recently visited Finland. Which was your favorite restaurant/bar there?

Finland is a fairyland of snow… The northern lights were a part of my bucket list and I was so lucky to see them. My favorite bar was the ice bar, Snowman World, in Santa Village. The bar had everything made of ice- the beds, chairs, tables, glasses, and even sculptures! It was a very different experience. The best restaurant I visited on my trip was The Royal Reindeer. Although there was limited food for vegetarians, it had a great ambiance and good local music. Overall it was a great experience!

You follow Jainism and have been on several pilgrims within India. Tell us more about what you get from these religious trips.

The path of Jainism teaches one to be content, detached, and to nurture the soul. There are several temples with very strong histories. Palitana is the worlds only mountain which has more than 900 temples. Shikharji in Bihar is believed to be the place where 20 out of 24 Tirthankaras attained Nirvana. There are several places like these such as Nakodaji, Shankeshwarji, Pavapuri, and Jeerawala Parashwanth. I connect most with Ranakpurji temple as it is where the first Tirthankara Rishabdev is worshipped. The architecture of the temple is spectacular and it is created in such a manner that if one stands from any corner of the temple, they can see an idol. There is so much peace and positivity in the temple it almost makes me feel divine. Ranka family is a 140-year-old legacy and I am a part of the 6th generation. There have been a few rituals and values that have been passed on by our ancestors (such us our annual pilgrimages when we visit the holy temples across India) which we do not fail to follow.

You organized a fashion show recently for Chosen by Tejpal Ranka. Share your experience with us!

We put up a fashion show at JW Marriott for our new exquisite lounge Chosen by Tejpal Ranka at Ranka Jewellers Chinchwad. This was done in collaboration with an organization called Ficci Flo, a national body with the prime objective of women empowerment through the promotion of entrepreneurship and professional excellence. At this fashion show, approximately 40 women from different fields and areas walked for Chosen. I overlooked multiple things right from selecting the jewelry each woman would be wearing to the music they would be walking on. After the event, we sent beautiful portrait pictures and a personalized thank you note to all the women who walked the ramp. The response we received was overwhelming. Organizing the event was a great learning experience and I got to meet and interact with numerous successful woman.

What is your favorite home cooked meal?

I love dal khichadi, any South Indian dish, and Maharashtrian food. However, my go-to meal at home is Khow Suey. It is perfect for a healthy and tasty meal.

What is your favorite hot sauce?

I love to eat green chili and spicy Thesa (Maharashtrian chutney) with Indian food.

Name your top 5 favorite restaurants

Koji– Pune

Narathai– Mumbai

Koh Thai Kitchen and Bar– Koh Samui

Moshik– Amsterdam

Moustache– New York