Immersed in work,phone, laptop, family, television; some sort of commitment keeps us occupied almost 24/7. This is a crippling situation when we are perpetually pledged to others but not connected within. Don’t stay oblivious of repercussions as it is now imperative than ever for all of us to unplug and head out under the expansive sky and take a moment to ponder.
In conversation with Adotrip, at his candid best is an intriguing personality, Novoneel Chakraborty who is a bestselling author, a successful scriptwriter and a prominent blogger. He revealed the profundities of places that stayed with him and some mysterious locations in India that added photo finish to his thrillers.
His personal stories like his novels would nudge the innermost chambers of your heart. Read the excerpts from his travel experiences to keep the travel mojo going!
: What is traveling to you?
You can dust the sand from your shoes but not from your soul, that is what traveling does. Unless it touches me or something within me doesn’t move, it remains a mere physical movement for me. Traveling must impact you on a deeper identity-shifting level. When I am inextricably intertwined with a place or a person or an event, I am altered forever and this is what is traveling to me. This alteration or up-gradation weaves in the fabric of who I am and helps me in enhancing the texture of the tapestry of my life.
With every journey, one receives far more than he seeks.
: Assam to Mumbai, how has your journey been?
In between, there were Kolkata and Lucknow as well. These shifts have been like a one thriller novel journey. Lots of ups and downs and plenty of unpredictable things. The little struggle in childhood due to constant change of places, schools and friends teaches you a lot. For instance, I never thought I would become a writer. This interesting journey from Silchar (Assam) to Mumbai helped me evolve from a small town boy to a professional writer.
: What keeps you connected to roots?
It's the simplicity of my parents that keeps me connected to roots. To stay grounded and modest is something my parents constantly imbibed in me, I think it’s in my DNA. When you see a bit of struggle as a child, you quickly understand that the reality of life lies in the roots, flowers and fruits are perhaps an illusion. The most important thing in life is to remember the essence of your existence and people who stayed by.
When the roots are deep there is no reason to fear the wind.
: Every book of yours is set in different places in India. How do places help in structuring the story?
Places matter a lot as it allows me to visualize and coin the characters in a certain way. Cultural diversity and nuances help in framing a storyline that is reality based For example, when I wrote my latest novel Roses are Blood Red, the story began in a small hamlet, Tosh in Himachal Pradesh and it shifted to Ajmer in Rajasthan. I added some prototypical elements like Rani Sa and Thakur Sa that depicted idiosyncratic elegance of Rajasthan. This quirky detailing gives an Indianized touch to the story and somewhere it plays like a film in the reader’s minds.
Places and subtlety are the tools for building a connection with the heart of readers.
: Which is your favorite destination in India and why?
One place that changed me deeply was Chandratal Lake in Spiti. Located at an altitude of about 4300 m in the lap of mighty Himalayas, it was there for the first time when I felt so close to nature. It was indeed the most thought-provoking experience that brought some positive changes in me. My lungs inflated with onrush scenery and the cool breeze made my mind quiet. The night sky looked so ecstatic emanating these little eyes like stars that were twinkling in the silence that emerged from absolute nothingness.
The sight and the sound of nature make you aware of stillness which is required for a creative mind that is constantly at work.
: Any unique festival in India that you have heard of or been a part of?
I read about this unique festival named Pulikali from Kerala. The special effect of the festival lies in the people who are decked up as tigers in vibrant costumes and elaborate masks. The procession of multitude hues and spectacular dance performance are not just visually appealing but exhilarating. This electrifying festival is quite alluring and I really wish to be a part of this colorful extravaganza.
: What are the precautions that you would follow while traveling post lockdown?
A lot of things are going to change now. Strict personal hygiene, wearing masks, gloves, carrying sanitizers, social distancing would remain a part of our life until this virus vanishes completely. I have become extra cautious about what I am touching when I am out. So all these obvious precautions are mandatory to follow.
: Have you ever hitchhiked? How was your experience?
It sounds fascinating but I have never hitchhiked the entire trip. During my college years when I was in Kolkata, I went to Digha beach for a trip with my friend. Since we had blown enough money on accommodation and food, we were left with little cash that we wanted to save for the rest of the trip. We used our innocent faces and cooked up some bizarre story and sold it to a family who dropped us to the adjacent beach. Such are the thrills of the good old days!
: Any experience of adventure sports in India that you can share?
I and my cronies went to Goa and we took off on some thrilling adventures. Banana boat ride was quite a terrifying experience not because of safety reasons but due to my own fear. We were in the middle of the ocean when our boat toppled. I was so petrified that I would drown because I didn’t know how to swim but thankfully a team of life guards were prompt in rescuing us. So glad that I am alive!
: Have you ever gotten lost while traveling?
I am usually lost in my thoughts. Luckily, I never got lost physically.
: Do you have to be rich to travel?
You need to have that adventurer spirit in you rather than being rich to travel. These days there is so much information about budget traveling that can be really easy on the pocket. It really depends on the kind of experience you are looking for. Yacht and cruise or five-star property kind of luxuries are heavy-duty, however, for travel freaks it’s more about backpack traveling. Exploring places is not expensive but you need to have a clarity on expectations.
: An interesting person you’ve ever met on a trip?
I met a girl at a cafe during my Spiti trip. I won’t disclose the name of the cafe but yes there was something really intriguing about her. Sometimes you see a stranger and you feel like knowing them more. However, I refrained to approach her because I didn’t want to look like a freak. I thought that we might bump into each other since the roads in the hills are leaner but hard luck, I didn’t spot her. Incomplete encounters y’know!
: 3 Travel Essentials
Deo, Water, and Wallet
: Reading Books or Listening to music
Reading books always.
: One place from where you felt nothing is far?
Chandratal Lake. That place gave me an empowered feeling that every obstacle can be won over if you are determined.
: Where did you go on your last vacation?
It was a desert tour in Jaisalmer
: Your favorite weekend getaway?
: Travel Blogs or Travel Guide?
I like reading Travel Blogs
: Your favorite travel app?
Trip Advisor, Booking.com
: Any exotic dish from the Indian menu that everyone must try?
Authentic Rajasthani Thali
: Which Indian airline you think is the best?
Vistara. I am a member of it.
If you wish for a meaty read where you can savor the quirky feeling, then novels of Novoneel Chakraborty will please your reading impulse. Known as Sidney Sheldon of India, he is immensely popular for writing the most gripping romantic thrillers (17 till date) that can raise your hair and leave you biting your nails. Also a scriptwriter of innumerable TV soaps and web series, he is one of the best writers of our country. Currently, he has rough sketches for almost a dozen thrillers set in mysterious locations in India, all we have to do is to wait for the new release.
Inspired by the phenomenal writer? Send him love by hitting the like button. Keep a watch at the Trip Talkies section for more exclusive travel stories of celebrated people. Stay tuned to Adotrip! With us, nothing is far! Like, Comment, Share!