Keshav Chaturvedi is a communications professional and a writer. He is also an environment enthusiast, a photographer, and a traveller by passion. He recently launched an audio travel show with a podcast major – IVM Podcasts – called “Tedhe Medhe Raaste”.
Here he narrates his travel experiences in India and abroad. In this interview, he talks about more than two decades of his travel and the impact it had on him.
Q: What can we expect in your travel podcast “Tedhe Medhe Raaste”?
A: This travel podcast is aimed at those listeners who want to relive a place through the stories and the experiences that a traveler shares. Instead of sharing information about where to stay, how to reach or what is the best time to visit, my podcast aims at information about the soul and pulse of the place.
It’s a completely new medium and format and the main aim is to create a visual through words for the listeners – one that can transport them to that place and share the experience.
Another thing that makes this podcast series unique is that it turns travel into a micro-experience. It’s not that it doesn’t talk about a city; but more than that, it talks about certain facets which may include a fort, a road, a person or a process, a product or a practice that in some cases doesn’t exist anymore. For example, in one of the podcasts, I talk about a car race championship that doesn’t exist anymore; or life at a place where there was no electricity some years ago, but is now fully electrified, but that’s how the experience becomes unique.
Q: There is no dearth of travel shows on YouTube and also many travel podcasts are also making waves but it begs a question – why should we travel at all?
A: Travelling is as innate a nature in humans as the urge to settle down. It’s latent in all of us. Human race grew because it kept moving from one place to another. It was essentially a fearless species. Getting out of Africa and then spreading all over the globe settling down in harsh terrains is what makes us unique. Other than humans, all the animal and fish species generally live in their ecosystem and rarely venture out. Whenever they do, it is generally under duress or faced with a loss of habitat. But the humans by instinct keep exploring the frontiers. It’s almost a visceral need – as the opening lines of famous TV series Star Trek said: “..to boldly go where no man has gone before.” This is trademark human instinct.
If the humans stop travelling and exploring their surrounding they will start to decay. That’s why, traveling is so important. In modern times there is very little that’s left to explore. But the people must go out and see new places or connect with the nature in order to discover their own abilities, their resilience and experience the immensity and the power of nature. This way they will truly appreciate the progress our forefathers made and we will also learn to respect nature, in which we live.
Q: Do you think COVID-19 pandemic will change the travel habits of people?
A: It’s a question I keep hearing from many travel enthusiasts and professionals from travel industry. My take is, in the short run yes. It will definitely restrict people’s movement. There will be protocols in place, like maintaining social distancing (though I prefer the term physical distancing, which it actually is), wearing masks and it is likely that some places may be out of bounds for some time and restrictions on the number of people at a particular place is also a probability. But if history is any indication, once the full vaccination achieves critical mass (close to 60 percent) people will revert to their old habits and the travelling may once again be back with a bang, nearly one and a half years from now.