Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Cuisine’

Many of us these days are fed up of quiet a few things – handling lockdowns, an overdose of the Work From Home virus, a torrent of depressing news from all sides, being bleary-eyed owing to movie/serial binges on online streaming platforms, to name only a few.  We wish to hedge our bets and take wings. We are looking out for a well-deserved vacation.

If you fall in this category, here is a guide which can help you to choose the country of your choice and plan the gig in advance. What follows is a review of the book by yours truly. 

 

When life puts a human resources expert and a history buff together, one gets a formidable team which loves adventure and believes that the routine and the mundane is lethal. Provide them with an insatiable urge to explore new cultures, discover new places, savour different cuisines and make friends in distant places, and they treat the world like an oyster. They keep falling in love with places they have never been to before. They end up making memories all over the world.

Here is a sumptuous offering from the team of Rajeev Varma and his wife, Meenakshi Varma. It is a meticulous record of their travels to countries as diverse as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, Russia, Norway, Belgium, UK and Switzerland, to mention only a few. The book here covers as many as 23 countries, with the tantalizing promise of few more to come!

Other than the places and their famous attractions, the couple have often taken the road less travelled. By chronicling their travels, they enrich our understanding of the countries captured in this book. Behavioural traits of many of the countries have been captured lovingly. As one joins them in these wanderings, one gets a sneak peek into each country’s history, the evolution of its cultural and racial potpourri, the collective behaviour of its people and the kind of staple diet they relish. Written in a lucid style, the book offers a vivid description of distant places on our planet.

In fact, one of the outstanding features of these memoirs is the mouth watering description of a wide variety of delectable local dishes on offer in almost all the countries. Even names of restaurants have been captured at places, prompting one to catch the next flight and land there to taste the savouries!

There are several other ways in which these memoirs stand out amongst the otherwise readily available tourist brochures, travelogues and the kind of details available over the world-wide-web we humans have spun around ourselves.

One, these are first-hand accounts based on relatively objective observations, sans any value judgements about any of the countries or its denizens.

Two, given the details etched out so very painstakingly, one can plan one’s next visit to a specific country far more knowledgably.

Three, a realization dawns – that the purpose of travelling to a different country need not always be ticking off the list of ‘Places-To-Visit’ of the more famous of its attractions – the monuments, the palaces, the relics and the museums. Admittedly, these do have their utility as fodder for our public relations and ego-boosting drives on social media and amongst our circle of relatives and friends. But the key purpose of travel is also to get a first-hand initial feel of the soul of a country, rather than merely exploring its physical body.

These memoirs also offer some underlying lessons. If life enables one physically, emotionally and financially, it makes eminent sense to avail opportunities to forget one’s own champagne and caviar at home and instead venture out to taste the world! Moreover, to extract the best juice out of such opportunities life gifts us with, meticulous planning in advance helps, just the way Rajeev and Meenakshi have done in their several sojourns described here.

Travel amuses, entertains, educates and enlivens us. If the book in your hands serves to whet your appetite to explore our beautiful planet, its purpose would have been adequately served. But budget your travels wisely. With similar compilations to follow in the times to come, you may run the risk of splurging on the first few trips, thereby making future escapades relatively dreary – a prospect best avoided!

Another word of caution – every trip could make us realize that we seem to know less and less about more and more. So, keep vacationing, continue to explore newer places and keep following the sequels to this maiden compilation!

 

About the author:  

Rajeev loves travelling, conversing, writing and singing. He is a lover of arts and is fond of theatre and documentaries. He values human interactions and likes to reach out to long lost acquaintances and re-forge relationships.  He has re-connected with friends who were his closest some five decades ago!

A Human Resource Management practitioner by profession, Rajeev was associated with the TATAs in India for nine years before relocating to the Middle East. Initially working for 15 years as Corporate HR Head for organizations in Dubai and Oman, he later managed his own Training & Management Consultancy Company in Muscat, Oman for 10 years.  He is a qualified coach and a counsellor. He is a University topper.

He now lives in NOIDA, India with his wife, children and grandchildren.

His next venture is to write a book on life of expatriates in the Middle East.

He can be reached at: rajeevtheomnist@gmail.com)

Read Full Post »