- Vol. 06
- Chapter 11
‘Will to preserve heritage,’ he read on the menu-card, and then added, ‘an interesting name for a cocktail.’ A nod in the affirmative and he was soon ready to join the group with a glass in his hands. The conversation seemed to be floating on a sea of terms that sounded as intriguing as a thriller based on a foreign locale. Baolis, mahals, maharajas, sultans, baghs and makbaras evenly spread on a base where arches, ruins, Mughals, Turks, Afghans, India, Shahjahanabad, Mehrauli and invasions marched up endlessly. There were stories about how only a single page from old manuscripts remained and the rest were probably lying unattended in some dusty attic in an old English home.
‘Yes,’ said one woman with kind eyes, ‘not everything that the officials of East India Company pillaged was ever documented.’
‘Sad,’ a few voices chorused, ‘sad indeed.’
An officious looking man then silenced everyone in the room with a wave of his hands and said, ‘We aren’t here to discuss how history was treated by a ruling force. We’re here to explore new itineraries for our tourist groups.’
They wanted more added to the usual Delhi-Agra-Jaipur triangle tours and their man sitting in Delhi recommended an involvement with preserving heritage because, he wrote, ‘this is what the new generation of tourism enthusiasts want’. Their man in Delhi had also insisted that the new tour details must include a meal with a local family, lectures on the heritage of less known spots, and a few walks ‘to know a bit of the real contemporary India’.
This may sound unreal, but a man working late in his office across the river that flowed through this town, looked out and thought, ‘Who could these people be and what could they be discussing? Why are the two floors above so seemingly empty?’
Travel ideaHe concluded that this could be the start of something new. Well, something new indeed...though in the room that we are talking about were a few who couldn’t care less. It wasn’t the mumbo-jumbo about heritage or its preservation but the success of a new travel idea that they cared for.
So yes, the man sitting far away was indeed watching a new idea being born.