“I’ve spent half a century in this world. I’ve seen so many things change – sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad. Amidst all this, I’ve found my happiness in travelling. My dad was in the railways, thanks to that, we kept moving across the country. But my international trips started much later in life. Even growing up, we spoke many languages at home and celebrated all the festivals. It was always about happiness and celebration for me. So once I became an adult, I decided that life needs to be celebrated everyday. Of course, I had my ups and downs where I did various jobs to make money for my family. But once everything stabilised a bit, I had started to travel extensively. The idea of seeing new places, exploring the interiors and talking to people there opens me up. It’s liberating – to be on your own in a place you have no clue about. I was so influenced by travel that my sister and I also wrote a storybook on different travel stories named Banjaras, the Knowmads for children.
I wasn’t too young when I made the decision to travel, but I realised that age is just a number. It’s never too late to do what makes you happy. Since then, there has been no looking back. In my journey across the world, I’ve lived some amazing moments. I volunteered in an international school of special education. I’ve been a part of the team for an NGO in UAE. I’ve run a half marathon and also took part in a beauty pageant at 47 years of age. I’ve spent time around African penguins and went Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Forest in Uganda. On my 50th birthday, I tried ziplining from the 45th floor. There hasn’t been a better feeling! I felt like a bird flying amidst the tall buildings. I also visited Chernobyl in Ukraine – a city that suffered a nuclear accident in 1986. It was moving to talk to victims who are still suffering from so many problems. It’s tragic to listen to their stories but it made me value my life and everybody close to me.
I am back to mana Hyderabad to relish my favourite Veg Biryani with mirchi ka salan and of course mirchi bajji.
I feel like life has started again at 50 for me – 25 years of education and 25 years of experience across the world. There are no words to describe the kind of satisfaction I have when I look back at life today. After all, it’s all about the moments we live. That’s what defines us.”
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