Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The Great Indian Traveller

Welcome aboard! The great above refers to India and not to the author! I am going to describe about the joys of travelling. I have been lucky enough to see some places that people crave to see.  I just love to travel, make friends, see different cultures and understand the historical importance of various places. I have made a lot of friends travelling. People might call me a travel maniac. But believe me there is nothing more refreshing and motivating than a travel. Travel might include going abroad or perhaps discovering the yet unexplored places of beauty in one’s own land. After long, tiring months of working one definitely needs a break. And I utilize the break to travel.
Firstly, I would give a brief introduction about myself and how I picked up travelling as a hobby. Since childhood I used to be hooked to the Discovery Channel – a program called Lonely Planet with Ian Wright as the anchor. It was amazing to see the places he used to visit and I often wished that I could go there too. I spent my childhood in a scenic place – a heaven for tourists. In my native place I used to visit a lot of unexplored places – especially I would just go for treks into the jungle which to my delight was lush green and abounding in flora and fauna. With occasional waterfalls along the way, life was beautiful! I loved to just lie down in the grass and feel the refreshing aroma of the jungle. I really miss it now. If I was lucky, which more often than not I was, I could catch a glimpse of deer grazing or hopping about. It was a sight to behold. But there was something to dread. The tiger! My place being adjacent to a wildlife sanctuary, was often a welcome retreat to tigers too. We all have heard of Jim Corbett, haven’t we? For the ones who haven’t, Corbett was a legendary British hunter who spelt doom for a number of man eating tigers and leopards. Later he voiced concerns regarding the declining tiger population and started making efforts for tiger conservation. This eventually culminated into him being honored by naming a very famous wildlife sanctuary as the Jim Corbett National Park. Enough hints as to where I live. I live in a very famous place called Nainital. It was wholly set up by the Britishers who felt home at this place. Being a hill station, with heavy snows in the winters, it must have reminded them of home. Till date there are houses which remind you of those old British Raj days – the ones with sloping roofs and chimneys at the tops.

So that’s how my travel adventures began. Trekking up the mountains to catch a glimpse of the majestic Himalayas, or an occasional swim in a fast flowing current downstream. Later I got hooked to a Discovery Channel program – Man vs Wild – with Bear Grylls as the anchor. It inspired me to the maximum. He was just Wow! I used to be amazed with the kind of tactics he employed to survive in places with no habitat. I dreamt of doing similar adventurous stuff one day. And the adrenaline rush that I used to get watching him is just unexplainable.
Slowly, as my career progressed I got selected in a very reputed IT company. There I had the opportunity to visit two very famous places – Moscow and Vegas. This was my first trip abroad. Sitting at the airport I was a bit nervous as I was all alone. I had been selected to present my paper in a reputed intenational conference. By the grace of Almighty everything proceeded well and I landed in Moscow. It was June 2011. Since childhood I was inspired by the KGB and the FBI. History was always an exciting subject for me and our school was an Irish Brothers’ Missionary school. Our history teacher was a living legend – a person who had seen history before his very eyes- a person who had witnessed the 2nd World War. What more could you ask for? He taught with so much passion that we couldn’t but love history. The Russian Revolution – Lenin and Stalin , the American Revolution – the war of independence, the Boston Tea Party – all had become things of common parlance- things that we used to discuss and while away time. And here before me lay the opportunity to explore the very two nations – the world’s two superpowers – Russia and the US.