बहुत कुछ सिखाती है ज़िन्दगी सफर के अंजाने में,
जो किताबों में दर्ज नहीं वो सबक मिलते हैं ज़माने में||
A question I get asked often is – why do I love travelling so much?
Is it the lure of new places? Food I haven’t eaten before? Indulging the travel bug & shutter bug in me?
The first stage of travel..and one of the best in my opinion, was as kids, when we’d look forward to the journey as much as the destination. The second was either necessity or instinct driven..when I travelled for sustenance or for the adrenaline rush, or both..
The third stage is when the real traveller & food sufi took over.
Street food was not new to me. Back from the US, when I got the op to travel around looking for food stories, I jumped at it.. The Great Indian Rasoi, till date remains one of my landmark & favourite shows.
The more I travelled thereon, be it within the country or overseas, for Ranveer On The Road or other television shows, I realised there was far more to food than I had experimented with in my kitchens. Apart from the geographical & cultural influences, for me, it was the person cooking it that added character to the dish.
खाना बनाने के लिए सामग्री के साथ साथ नीयत भी बहुत ज़रूरी है!
And neeyat & barkat are what I experienced at their best in the Himalayan hearts. The higher you go, the larger the heart. For the people living at that altitude, everyday is a new challenge, sometimes nature-induced & sometimes human induced. But that doesn’t change their simplicity – be it in their food or nature.
I’m no stranger to the bends & twists of the Himalayan roads. I took the ‘high road’ 10 years ago, travelling up to Ladakh, Spiti & Kibber. I called it a Trip to Nowhere!! Revisiting those alleys this year, this time it was a Trip Towards Myself.
From ‘I can conquer heights’ to ‘Your height humbles me’ …it’s certainly been a long journey. Like Sir Edmund Hilary said – “It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves..”