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Tanya Gupta : A Wanderlust and A Singer, wrapped in one

Tanya Gupta, our celebrity guest this time is a singer who made us proud at the closing ceremony of Asian Games, 2010 held in Guangzhou, China which is till date the biggest extravaganza in the history of events. She performed with 14 thousand dancers and in front of the record-breaking, 8 lakh audience. A gold medallist in Indian Classical Music, Tanya has not only made her place in Indian Film Industry but has been a prominent artist in All India Radio. She has contributed to various social causes and dedicated 6 years of her life to Theatre. Her constant participation in various events across the country has been acknowledged and she received the prestigious award by the Late President Sh. APJ Abdul Kalam. She represents our country on the world map and has travelled across to perform in various concerts and events. Her hectic life and work schedule extract a lot of energy for which she heads towards the mountains every now and then. As a person, she is humble and has no air about the success she has achieved in a short span.

Read more for the candid conversation and her explicit travel stories from India

: You travel places for your concert, which has been your favourite of them all and why?

The city of lakes, Udaipur. I love the vibe of the city. I was invited by the Maharaja of Udaipur and was given the royal treatment that was no less than living a dream. It was a lifetime opportunity to stay in the palace as a guest. I also stayed at one of the suites at Taj, which is the most exquisite property in India. Domes, mirror work, paintings on the walls, view of the lake from the balcony was all so picturesque and divine that had I been a painter, I would have painted a masterpiece out of it. Amused with the charm of Udaipur, I celebrated my parent’s anniversary there. I booked the same suite at Taj, a place where I had the most splendid travel experience.

I better see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.

: How do you plan your travel and the duration of your stay?

Being a singer, I need a frequent break from the concrete jungle to be lost in the mist of the mountains. Being in the mountains makes me feel connected to my soul. I love to spend maximum time in nature and traveling around with my parents makes it a lethal combination for me. I believe in living life to the fullest, which is why I always keep my travel dates flexible. I visit different places and if I discover that there is a lot more to see, I gladly extend my stay and make sure to see everything that the place has to offer.

What takes you back to your roots?

Jammu is my hometown and the place is definitely close to my heart for uncountable reasons. I owe a lot to the place as it was here, where I discovered my inclination towards music. Strings and Rabab, are my favourite instruments which have roots in Jammu & Kashmir like me. These instruments can play with my senses, turning me on completely. Another incident of my visit to Ladakh with my team where I shot for 5 days in minus 10degree temperature with bare minimum means was when I realized that having been born and brought up in Jammu and Kashmir has taught me to survive in all odds. I have learned the basics of life in this sensitive environment.

: Adotrip believes nothing is far, describe one moment where you felt the same?

I travel extensively all over the world due to my work. During one of my visits to a foreign land, I observed how much the cuisines of India were being relished by the people of different countries. Spreads were laid from every part of the world but it was the Indian cuisine whose aroma pulled the crowd. It’s a matter of pride to see that the Indian flavours have gained remarkable popularity. I thought it’s only Indians who look forward to Dal, Rice and our very favourite Bhindi (ladyfinger) but to my surprise, it’s famous everywhere. Now, as I find the Indian restaurants worldwide, I can boast, ‘nothing is far.’ I feel like home even when I am traveling overseas.

: What is your take on the solo woman traveling trend in India?

I feel that women need to step out of their confined world and explore their strengths. I genuinely believe that keeping myself happy is my own responsibility and if traveling gives that happiness to you then you must travel freely. Traveling has taught me a lot; it constantly pushes me to become a better person. I learned to respect different cultures and I come home rejuvenated and more confident than I was before. I emphasize having good planning for a solo trip. Keeping security backup can be a crucial point that every girl must keep in mind before venturing out for solo trips, be it India or abroad.

We travel to different places; we go as a different person and we come back as a different person.

: Narrate one travel moment that you feel has made you strong?

I remember during one of the past events where I had to perform for 3 hours straight. I travel a lot for concerts and event days are hectic. Everything happens back-to-back. I just landed at the airport in Ranchi and was driven straight to the venue. I usually tie my hair in a bun and secure it with a stick. I was in the back seat of the car and was about to reach the venue. I took out the stick and pressed it in my lips while tying my bun when suddenly the driver applied brake and the car stopped with a jolt. I lost balance and the stick pierced my throat and it started bleeding. But as the show must go on, I sang for three hours with my bleeding throat. Later, when I traveled back home, I got myself treated. At one of the events, I performed with a hairline fracture. Fame comes with a huge price, I certainly know.

Avoid putting sharp things in your mouth when you are in motion. A free trip to the readers by a pro.

: Give us a sneak peek into your travel style statements?

Like every modern girl, I also love to travel in style. My sartorial picks for travel are comfortable yet classy. I perform in concerts and attend various events across the world for which I need to take long-haul flights that can make me uneasy, if not dressed right. My preferences are loose outfits over the skin-tight ones as this creates enough space for breathing. I always carry a scarf and a jacket for layering and pair it with a trendy bag and cool shades. It's an easy and do-able tip for every girl who loves to travel like a chic.

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

: Your favourite Bollywood travel song?

I like to listen to old Bollywood songs.

: A dish that you crave for?

A traditional dish from Himachal Pradesh, Dham. I fly down to Himachal only to devour this dish.

: Music, bird watching, stargazing or book

Bird watching and stargazing.

: 5 Travel Essentials

  • Sunblock
  • Water bottle
  • Wet wipes
  • Lip balm
  • Small perfume

: Traveling for you is

Evolving as a better person

: Describe India in word?

Diverse be it food, culture or people

Situations:

: What if a few hours before the concert, you realize the most precious person in your life has missed the flight to it?

I always wish to see a few of my loved ones in the audience. I feel elated and more connected when someone from my family watches me perform. However, if sometimes my family can’t make it, I still step on the stage with great enthusiasm so as to put on a good show for my audience to enjoy. It was this prestigious event which was organized by the Indian Navy for Women Empowerment where I was to perform and was expecting my relatives based in Delhi to be a part of the audience. I made the prior arrangements, however due to some reason they had to return from the gate, I really felt sorry for them but sometimes things are not in my control.

We as artists know how to camouflage our feelings while performing no matter how deep the void is.

: What if you are close to your destination and you hear spooky noise, would you proceed further or turn back?

As I travel a lot for events, I have experienced every odd situation. This incident happened in Raipur, where I performed at an event. I thought of heading back to the hotel alone as my manager and team were taking time to wrap up. It was pitch dark and the road was potholed. While leaving, my manager came to me and asked me to be vigilant because they felt something strange about the place. I clearly remember, I was in the car and as I mentioned the concern of my manager to the driver, the headlights turned off. Then the dome lights in the car also stopped working. Literally, my heart was in my mouth but as we were somewhere in the middle from where there was no scope of going back, he managed to drive with fog lamps and dropped me back to the hotel. This incident still gives me goose-bumps.

: If you are given a chance to travel across the world with the condition to sing in every country and in the native language, how would you perform?

I can sing in many languages, be it regional or foreign. I travel to different places and pick few words from everywhere. I love Turkish and Arabic music, not only do I enjoy listening to the songs but I also love singing them. Even if I don’t understand a word, I can easily sing the songs in an authentic dialect. Mostly, whenever I have to perform in a different language, I jot down the lyrics in my language first and then practice the accent. In one of the award ceremonies where I also received an award, I sang in front of the Late President, APJ Abdul Kalam in Tamil. Internationally, I have done a curtain-raiser in Abu Dhabi where I sang in Arabic. One of my Bollywood songs starts with Spanish and the list is endless.

: If you are offered a blind trip for a week that is fully sponsored, will you take it or leave it?

Due to the events all over the globe, mostly all my work-related trips are sponsored. I love to travel. After music, traveling is my only passion. I prefer traveling with my parents as three of us belong to the same tribe, we are complete travel-freaks. I have travelled solo; I have never experimented with a blind trip though. I will be glad if you take me to the mountains any day, any time.

You are not in the mountains, mountains are in you.

PS: if you want to try your luck, our celebrity guest is game for a trip to the mountains

Message to the readers

We all know that in today’s scenario, spending time in nature has become a luxury. We spend a lot of money just to brace ourselves for the fast-paced life. We must ensure that we leave the place cleaner and better. Saving the environment is a survival truth to which we cannot turn a blind eye.