In this fast-paced modern life, we all need a way to find solace and rejuvenate from within. There is so much in life to recognize, embrace, explore and relish. Connecting with the spirit of nature can be our guide, a calling or a doorway to a better life.
Our guest this time, Javed Jaffrey who never fails to tickle our funny bones, has some profound travel stories to share. Adotrip happened to ring his door bell this time and brought in light his unheard tales from every nook and corner of India.
So, let’s cut to the chase and begin the virtual voyage with the Salaam Namaste star.
: What is travelling to you?
Travelling for me is connecting with nature. Travelling gives me a chance to learn so much about working with nature that I can really feel the pulse of the place. Developing our spiritual connection with nature works as the vital tonic that we all desperately need.
We don’t ask anything from nature, yet nature gives us silence, peace, harmony and beauty without limits.
: Which place in India keeps you connected to the roots?
Bandra in Mumbai is a place where I have lived for more than 40 years. It is famous as Queen of Suburbs and I have seen it getting evolved with time. Once a tiny fishing village of yesteryears to the swanky suburb of today, Bandra is one place in Mumbai that depicts the true essence of cosmopolitan culture and keeps me connected.
: You are an Indian dancing sensation. Which dance form in India you find the most inspiring?
Bhangra is the most uplifting dance form. This dance form of Punjab is a perfect mix of speed, balance, grace, fun and symmetry. I find it very lively. I also like Bharatanatyam and Odissi that are quite technical but are extremely expressive and graceful dance forms. Another powerful dance form is Chhau from Odisha which is an intrinsic part of the tribal culture of India.
: Actors travel to many off-beat destinations for shoots. Which is your favorite off-beat destination in India and why?
My film War Chhod na Yaar was shot near the border of Bikaner and Jodhpur. The film was shot in scorching heat but the experience was incredible. I played a ranger in a forest-based movie that was shot in Jim Corbett. It was quite an adventure to live in the forest and was an experience of a lifetime. A part of Jajantaram Mamantaram was shot at Nargol Beach in Gujarat which is an unexplored area dotted with lush green casuarinas trees. The serenity of the place is extremely captivating. Military courtroom film, Shaurya was shot in Srinagar and a remote valley in Manali. I have done a French movie with Tabu which was shot in Andamans. I have been to plenty of places in India for shoots and for shows, the list is endless. I feel that every place in India has its own charm.
: Any unique event or festival in India that you have heard of or been a part of?
Khajuraho Dance Festival is quite unique. It is held at one of the most enchanting UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Khajuraho Temple in Madhya Pradesh. The dance festival is an intriguing spectacle of Indian art forms and culture. The week-long festival showcases traditional dance forms that stand tall in sync with the testimony of rich Indian culture. The festival is a visual treat and the most enthralling experience.
: Which has been your most thrilling trip so far?
I have done skydiving in North Carolina, free-falling from the sky is definitely thrilling. I have heard about skydiving in India too. I love scuba diving too, it's more of a de-stressing activity. I have dived 6 times at various places such as Mauritius, Australia, and Andaman and every time the experience was surreal. In India, Andaman is an ideal destination for scuba diving as it boasts vibrant coral reefs and great underwater experience.
: Which is the most romantic travel destination in India according to you?
Kashmir is the most romantic destination in the world. It is the quintessential slice of ‘Heaven on Earth’ that has mesmerizing landscapes and tranquility despite its troubled history. I produced two documentary films - ‘Inshallah, Football’ and ‘Inshallah, Kashmir’ based on social issues of Kashmir, and I received a National Award for it. Kashmir, for so many reasons is very close to my heart. Apart from being a romantic escapade, it’s a place where the profound reality of life can be seen.
: Which is the most historically-rich destination in India?
Hampi, it is a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site in India where the captivating remains of Vijayanagar Empire can be witnessed. It is commendable to see the efforts being made by Indian Tourism to restore the lost glory of the place. With hardly a spec of modern establishments to maintain an authentic feel of the ruins makes it one of the most historically rich destinations in India. Khajuraho and Delhi are also rich in preserving the heritage of India.
: A place in India where you had an amazing experience?
Why go to Venice when we have backwaters in Kerala? It's truly amazing to soak in the tranquility of a backwater cruise. Sparkling blue water, verdant green palms and coconut grooves are extremely picturesque. Alleppey is one of the finest places in Kerala where one can experience ultra luxurious backwater cruising.
: Most unlikely, but any budget-holiday in India that you have been to?
The biggest expense of travelling is lodging. So whenever I have to budget, I go to a friend's house and simply save a fat bill of hotels. I have friends who have houses in Kashmir and Jim-Corbett. Both the places are good to unwind.
: 3 Travel Essentials
Tracks and tshirts, my favourite Casio watch and phone
: One place from where you felt ‘Nothing is Far?
Maldives. It's a small piece of land surrounded by a turquoise sea that meets the sky. You are away from everything but close to nature, it gives me a ‘Nothing is Far’ kind of feeling.
: Where did you go on your last vacation?
Dubai for New Year’s
: Best credit card for travel?
: What's been the best street food you've had?
I love the street food of Delhi, especially Chole Bhature and Gol gappe. Also, Lucknow has an elaborate menu. Kebabs from Lucknow are luscious and divine.
: What do you do when your baggage exceeds?
I always weigh my bags before travelling. But if I am travelling for long shoots abroad then definitely baggage exceeds and I pay for it.
: Which is that one song you hear on loop while travelling?
I prefer meditating, zen sort of music. Something fluid to be precise. I like to hear Jazz and also old hindi songs of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Kishore Kumar and Mohammad Rafi are my favourite singers. Their songs are quite uplifting.
: Your favourite travel app?
I only eat halal food. There’s an app named Zabihah which covers the entire globe. It helps you locate the food joints that cater halal food in any part of the world. It's a very useful app for travellers who have a certain preference for food. Also, Google Maps.
: Which Indian airline you think is the best?
I like Vistara but they don’t cover all the territories. I like to travel with IndiGo as it offers plenty of options. AirIndia is amongst the oldest airlines, needs some upgrades but I often travel with it.
Known for many feathers in cap, Javed Jaffrey is a human dynamo who is indefatigable. In fact, he belongs to the league of genius artists who have aced every role deftly, be in life or big screen. He is an incredible actor, terrific dancer, brilliant singer, superb choreographer, engaging VJ, impressive emcee, proficient filmmaker, witty comedian...Phew! Falling short of adjectives for the 3 Idiots star. The multifaceted actor also epitomizes humility. Despite his grand demeanour, he has always exuded benevolence. Who else can touch the heart the way he does?