Chetan Bhagat

The columnist, screenwriter, speaker and the bestselling author has a fascination for the Middle-Eastern countries like Lebanon, Iran, Iraq and Yemen
Chetan Bhagat says that the places he visits always influence his work
Chetan Bhagat says that the places he visits always influence his work

OT Have your travels influenced your work

Chetan Bhagat Of course. The places I travel to inspire and inform my work. My book Revolution 2020, for instance, is set in Varanasi, a fascinating city. I&rsquove lived in Gujarat during my IIM-Ahmedabad days, and we used to make trips to Diu because Gujarat is a dry state. So it found its way into Kai Po Che, where there is an entire Diu sequence.

OT Where did you grow up Any special trips in your childhood

Chetan Bhagat My father was in the Army, and even though we were based in Delhi, he used to get posted around the country. At one point, I remember he was in Sikkim, where we spent some great summer holidays.

OT Mumbai is home now. Any recommendations for first-time visitors

Chetan Bhagat I&rsquod say walking in the Chimbai area or the Sherly Rajan villages of Bandra is a fun experience. You are in the middle of the city and yet there is a sleepy coastal town feel to these streets.

OT Your last holiday was in&hellip

Chetan Bhagat Hong Kong, to attend the Hong Kong Film Trade Fair, where I was conducting a session. It was part work, part holiday.

OT What are your family holidays like

Chetan Bhagat They tend to be laidback because our kids are young (twin boys aged eight) we have only recently started travelling again after they were born. My wife and I tend to like similar things but she prefers to plan ahead. She starts her research months before a trip, while I can land up in a place and figure my way around. Also, I tend to repeat the same destinations, while she likes seeing new places.

OT What&rsquos next on your wish list

Chetan Bhagat I have a fascination for the Middle East, especially places that are rarely visited, such as Lebanon (Beirut), Iran, Iraq and Yemen.

OT Are you a foodie

Chetan Bhagat Yes. I love food, especially Japanese and Middle Eastern fare. Local cuisine is a crucial factor in choosing a destination.

OT Any travel disasters

Chetan Bhagat I lost my passport in New York once, hours before my return flight. I struggled to figure out what to do as I stood in the long line at the consulate, but luckily an NYPD cop found it and returned it to the consulate, while I was there.

OT A book that depicted a destination well...

Chetan Bhagat Shantaram showcased Mumbai really well, I thought.

OT Your best travel advice

Chetan Bhagat Travel light and keep a separate bag for cash, documents, chargers and medicines.

OT Five things you always pack

Chetan Bhagat Money, spare spectacles, medicines, chargers, gadgets (laptop and phones).

OT Your reading list on the go

Chetan Bhagat Right now I&rsquom reading the various drafts of my new screenplay and going crazy. I like to read non-fiction when I travel as I can read it in parts.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Traveller