Parul Bakshi (parulbakshi) wrote in india_travels,
Parul Bakshi

The mystic, the monuments and the masala – the ongoing love story of travel in India!

SadhuI started out wanting to be a fighter pilot like my dad, but when I was finishing school, the Indian Air Force did not have women pilots. So I studied, finished my hotel management and then went on to work for a short stint in hotels. During my formative years I had a love of reading Mills & Boons (yes, you can continue to read without worrying about this turning out to be a eulogy of a tall dark and handsome man) where I had read a wonderful story about a woman who leads a tour group to Greece. I was hooked and wanted to know if it was possible for me to get into the travel industry – all that travel, the beautiful hotels, the romance of possibly meeting someone, and of course self discovery. Cutting a long story short, for this very reason, I joined a travel company and many years later have travelled through India and across the seas to promote travel to India. My love for traveling has only grown with each passing year. The company I represent – Eastbound (EB) is a travel company that designs custom tailored tours to all parts of the country. Eastbound also has a presence in Dubai, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.


We are proud to be associated with the Live Journal Community - India Travel, and will be putting up stories of travel in India, about people who are making a great difference, about wonderful destinations that you just must see and of course about some great hotels that you can visit. I am also here to help anyone on the community with information, help and advice on travel in India.



When I started traveling around my country, I was surprised by one thing, the friendliness that was shown towards me, generally an outgoing person I talk to everyone – the drivers, the helpers at the tea stalls, the guides and the shop keepers. Traveling alone has hardly ever been an issue as people go out of their way to help. Puppets - Colours everywherePoliteness and friendliness is usually met the same way, though I must say in India we don’t usually have the same issues of privacy that people in other parts of the world do. Thus, in one conversation, I can be asked where I work, whether I am married, if I have children (My God, married so many years and no children yet! Is the usual reply I get), how much I earn and why my husband can’t take care of the bills (he he).   I am also given advice on why I must change my lifestyle or the more pragmatic ones say – you are a sign of changing times – a woman who works and travels away from home most of the time.


It has also given me an opportunity to know a small bit about my country – I can fill pages with the fables, legends, stories and facts that I have garnered. So much so that I firmly believe that they have all amalgamated in my mind to form a long epic which I believe is fact. J


The journey in India is as interesting as your destination – people from around the world would say that this is true of any country, but in India there is a difference. You can stop at a village which consists of hardly more than mud huts, and have a hearty meal, just because there was no where else to get food, or be surrounded by herds of long horned cattle (or goats, or camel or horses etc. as may be the case or the region you are visiting) and delayed as your driver maneuvered slowly through the living things, scenery may or may not change, but language, dialects and food will certainly transform with each passing mile.

Atithi devo bhava – Guest is God is a dictum we take seriously, we behave with humility towards people who visit our country – but hope what they carry back with them is more than just the icons that the international media have painted for us.


I will keep updating this space with interesting tidbits but would love to hear from you – Is your travel through India, all about what I have succinctly put as a header – mystics, monuments and masala? (All images are thanks to my colleague and wonderful photographer - Abhishek Hajela  Ols Woman



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