Favorite holiday destination for leisure: Goa. There is so much unexplored and pristine despite the influx of tourists. Every time I go there, I find something refreshing and new. It’s an interesting mix of rural India with western sensibilities. I would even recommend our jungle lodges in Kanha or Bandhavgarh for a leisure holiday.
Favorite holiday destination for culture: It has to be rural India, you get a true sense of our roots. Just anywhere is good. For first timers Kerala is a gentler introduction to our composite culture, followed by rural Rajasthan.
Favorite holiday destination for gastronomy: North Kerala coast going right up to Goa. I simply love the Portuguese influence on our western coastal food. The variety of influences and cuisines you find in this area is amazing to the palate. Typical Udupi Brahmin vegetarian food to the Mopla middle-eastern influenced cuisine of North Kerala and contrasting with the Manglorian and Goan food! Mumbai is an ideal melting pot where these cultures & cuisines come together. Do add a Food tour in Mumbai on your visit to enjoy all of these cuisines and more.
Favorite holiday destination for nature: Upper Hills of Kumaon. Great weather for most of the year, serene surroundings with lovely views of the Himalayas, walks in the forest, fresh air, simple folk, the smell of burning wood coming from faraway village homes, Shepard flute playing somewhere…very romantic! If you are lucky, you may even encounter a wild leopard; see rare migratory birds and lots of butterflies.
Favorite music: Semi Classical India Music and who can resist Jazz.
Favorite book/s: Cuckold by Kiran Nagarkar for its intensity and my all-time favourite Indian authors are Amitava Ghosh and Arundhati Roy.
Favorite drink: Nimbu paani with masala!
Favorite dish: Kori-Gassi from Mangalore and the home made Yellow dal (lentil) with Rice.
If I were to be reborn: I would probably be an artist of some sort or even a nomad wandering away to where the heart fancies.
I often dream of: Flying.
Insider tips: When you are travelling to India, relax…just go with the flow of things here and bring along your sense of humour.