Author of Hot Tea Across India Rishad Saam Mehta talks about his book and his passion travel:
Interview with Author Rishad Saam Mehta
Tell us something about yourself like where did you grow up and what did you study?
Rishad Saam Mehta: I grew up in Bombay and studied engineering. I have a Bachelors degree in Electronic Engineering.
How did you gravitate towards travel writing?
Road trips and driving holidays were an integral part of my childhood. Even with a battered old World War 2 era jalopy, my parents would take us and off on a road trip every vacation. There was a lot of adventure in the ‘getting there’ sometimes even more than the being there.
Besides that, I went to a very good school that encouraged imagination and creativity and I guess I had a flair for writing and my many travels and adventures on the road gave me sort of matter to write about.
Do you like driving more on tough terrains or exploring new lands more? If there is an answer – why?
New lands usually go hand in hand with the rough terrain I guess. A newly opened road or pass will progressively get better once traffic there increases. So if you’re one of the first explorers then you have to deal with rough roads. But a capable car makes rough roads a piece of cake.
You seem to prefer the Himalayas to any other destination, as you describe them far more detail than other places. Your comments.
I guess there is magic in those mountains. I’ve been drawn to them since the time I first visited them 18 years ago. The mythological aspect, the towering geography and the fact that the magnitude of creation there makes human lifespan seem like a but a blink of an eye simply fascinates me.
What is the best and the worst part of a traveler’s life?
The best part is that there is always another trip coming up. There are new people to meet and new food to be experienced and new photos to be taken. About the worst, I’ll get back to you when I think of something
Do you think after a while travelers become something like a ‘Limited Nomad’, with a base but always roaming sometimes just in their minds? Your Comments.
Well, I think if you like to travel you will always have fidgety feet. And they will never be contained for too long. It might not be a long trip, even a day trip to a local outskirt or a weekend trip to the next town – I don’t think much can stop travelers from traveling.
Do you see yourself getting tired of traveling ever?
Well, I see myself getting tired of airport terminals after continuous trips month after month. But never of being in a new place or driving new roads and different cars.
I found your book a little randomly organized, was that intentional or oversight?
It was intentional. It reflects the fact that road travel needs to be somewhat spontaneous and instinctive. Too much order and planning take the sheen of the excitement away from it.
I loved the cover design of your book, very soothing, very cool. Please share the story of how you managed this beautiful cover.
The cover was designed by Mishta Roy. She read the manuscript. Discussed her ideas with me. And then I sent her photos from my travels which she used as elements for the cover.
This interview can not be complete without this question – What do you see common in tea and tea stalls across India?
Milk, tea leaves, and sugar. And a horribly blackened and battered tea brewing vessel that should have been retired in 1878.
Is there a second book coming? If yes, please tell us about it.
I want to write one. Do you have any ideas? If so please do send them to me at >[email protected]<