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A Trip That Made All the Difference

Not all heroes wear capes and we are talking about the epitome of the same phrase. Meet Prashant Mahajan, a man who is making all the difference on an individual level. In a latest interaction with Adotrip, the unsung hero revealed how he is helping the local craftsmen and traditional skilled artisans

What Prashant thought of as a casual trip brought a change in his life and changed his perspective and that is what a vacation can do to you, it can touch you the ways you never thought of. Meanwhile, let’s hear it from the man himself. Here we go!

I make it a point to contribute in small ways to bring change at an individual level

: Your idea of an ideal tourist spot

My ideal tourist spot would have to be one with plenty of natural and historic references. As a family and as an Architect, I always try to find us a combination of these two elements for all our holidays for us to invigorate our senses with close proximity to beautiful natural settings as well as to get an opportunity to explore and learn from the history and local culture of the place.

: Three over-rated tourist destinations of India

For me they would be Bangalore, Shimla and Mussoorie.

I tried some of the coastal cuisines of Kerala and found them to be very different and spicy

: The most bizarre or interesting thing you ate on a vacation or tell us if there are plenty of them

I think one of the most interesting things I ate was several years ago, back in Singapore. I used to live and work there before I returned to India in 2004 and there is a Swiss restaurant which is called Marshe by Moven Pick and the structure of that was really interesting. What happens there is that you can just walk in and there are different stalls which are like traditional Indian food gully in a way and then you get a magnetic cart when you enter.

You can actually pick up a dish and it is made live for you. So that is the first time I particularly actually tried things like Swiss rosti which is made of potatoes and served with sour cream. So that was something quite unique and interesting

: And, what about in India?

I quite enjoy spicy food and few years ago I had a chance to travel a lot down south for work. During one of my trips, I actually tried some of the coastal cuisines of Kerala which was prepared in a very traditional manner and found it was very different and spicy.

: Since you have made it big and have carved a niche for yourself in the industry, let’s start with your ‘Nothing is far’ moment. A moment during a trip that changed your life and perspective.

During one of our family vacations, I encountered the apathy of the local craftsman and traditional skilled artisans who continue to suffer for basic survival on daily basis.

This was a moment that changed my perception of how our travel and tour industry has impacted the localization element and how little is actually being done by local governments and private organizations to safe guard their interests and create a stronger link with such traditional arts & crafts with minimal disruption due to tourism.

I have started to pay greater attention to this aspect on all our travels and make it a point to engage and contribute respectfully in small ways to enable this change at an individual level.

: Tell us about the most romantic travel getaway that you took in India with your partner and the most unique thing that happened there.

Last year we travelled to Bishangarh in Rajasthan (Short of Jaipur) which has an old fort and palace converted into a luxury hotel. This was perhaps the most romantic getaway for both of us in India after several years as we were able to spend quite time together and focus on engaging with the fort hotels local environment and rich history which was beautifully restored and made accessible to the guests.

Also, the environment around the fort palace was also extremely quiet and relaxing, away from the maddening crowd and we were really able to spend some moments of happiness together for a few days.

Now we will do a travel rapid fire and you need to be quick

: Traveling with kids or without them

If possible, without them

: 2 Indian languages that you can’t speak but want to

Kannada and Malayalam

: How often you go traveling in a year

At least twice a year

: 5 things that you never forget to pack for a vacation

Camera, skipping rope, hiking boots, cap with shade and a light coloured shirt

: Trekking on the mountains or chilling by the beach

Trekking on the mountains

: Travel for you is

Exciting and an opportunity to explore the world

: Describe India in one word

Enchanting

We will give you 4 situations and you have to tell us what would you do or how would you react in these situations

: If you are stranded on an island with your family with no phone and ample food

I will probably ration the food and spend time with my family while figuring out how to get help at the earliest

: If your favourite actress meets you during a vacation

Try to find something quickly to take an autograph

: If your tickets are booked but your boss cancels your leaves

Consider resigning from the job

: If you wake up one day to find out you have a million dollars with you but you can only spend them on travelling or buying things that are only travel-related

Probably think of something like a global tour so I could spend all the money and see the entire planet in one go.

Isn’t it amazing how we know Prashant as a strong-headed and determined professional, but on personal level, he is just like us – a person who loves travelling and enjoys giving back to the society by doing his bit for it.

For the uninitiated, Prashant is currently heading the design management team at Risland India. He has an experience for over 24 years in the industry and has worked in countries like Malaysia, Singapore and the Middle-Eastern countries, apart from India.