Today, I have the pleasure of hosting Prasad Np known popularly in the blog world as the Desi Traveler. If you want to read the stories behind the journeys, head to his blog. The pictures are breathtaking; the experiences real and invigorating. His blog is a favorite travel blog of mine. His foray into blogging is an interesting tale. Prasad peddled his soul for the security that his job in a US MNC  offered. But as the itch to travel got uncontrollable, he started to blog at desi Traveler, which soon blossomed into one of the most read travel blogs in India. He continues to chase his dream of being a travel writer and photographer and is Chief Evangelist at Darter Photography. Over to Prasad…

***

Traveler

A Touristy beach!

I started traveling very early in life very much like how most desis got their first dose of travel in those days. We would visit grandparents during summer vacations or one of the holy cities in India to be willfully conned by unholy godmen that took a PK from some “Gola” to come and warn us about after all these years.

Traveler

Desi travelers

My first job was to fund a college Botanical Excursion. I needed money, so I started tutoring a naughty kid who made me realize how hard it is to make money. I pledged to never have kids but then I got my first cash, and I postponed the decision to a future date. Needless to say, we decided to have kids, and today we are proud parents of two daughters who enjoy traveling as much as we do. All our travels are with our daughters unless it is a business trip.

My blog desi Traveler originally was about family road trips and was called Kids & Car. I started traveling as a toddler, photographing as teen and blogging as an Uncle G. So the traveler in me is the oldest among my traveler, photographer and writer avatars.

Once I learned about blogging, the old fashioned me was forced to learn about new age mediums like Facebook, Twitter, Instaorgasm oops I mean Instagram and use them to connect with other travelers.

Travel teaches many things, and helps overcome prejudices and differences that have developed deep roots over millennia, as ancient societies interacted rarely. Most interactions ended in bloody battles and oppression of the losing side. No wonder a lot of us suffer from xenophobia and hide it under the mask of making fun or discriminating people who do not look like us. Shameful incidents of thrashing folks from North East in our metropolitan cities are a result of the same.

“You don’t look like me, so let me thrash you. I will find an excuse later, as I hate anybody who does not look like me”

Or sample this:

Oh you South Indians, you eat with your hands”

Oh you north Indians all you know in the name of dance is Balle Balle!

Oh you Gujjus —–

Oh you Bongs…

Replace the words with any race / culture /religion, and you will find a phrase trying to mock People that are not like us. All the prejudices, in my opinion, appeared as people rarely interacted even 50 years ago, and even now our interaction with folks from remote corners of country is limited.

But once you travel and meet people in different parts of the world, you realize how similar we are even with all our differences. Like my Brazilian friend, Daniel, whom I met in Kerala says “same same but different”. So you can understand my surprise when people ask me what kind of traveler I am, and they look at me with greater surprise when I say I am just a normal traveler, nothing special.

Traveler

Tourists

But the Q bomb continues, “But you must know if you are a traveler or a tourist?”

“Mm,” I mumble, “Well, I am not sure.”

“Where did you last go?“

“Simla with Missus and kids.“

“Simla, oh it is such a touristy place, I never visit touristy places.”

Mr. Livingstone made me apologetic about my trips to Simla (replace it with Taj Mahal, Jaipur, Kerala, Pondicherry, whatever you think is touristy).

But I muster some courage and ask so what kind of a traveler my interrogator is. “Oh me, I am a traveler; I explore and soak in the place just like locals, and last I was at Everest base camp. But you know what people have destroyed the beauty with mounds of litter all over the route.“

I wanted to say that those hundreds of plastic bottles must have been littered by tourists like me who travel with the kids to Simla and some typhoon took them to higher Himalayas. But I could not say a word, as I was feeling guilty for being a tourist by now.

A few days back in a travelers’ meet, I was again asked this question, but before I could say a word a monologue followed.

Traveler

Solo Traveler

“You know I am a Solo traveler; I travel to the remotest parts of the world with only me and my backpack and my trusted camera that has 25 mp, 70-200 lens, image stabilization full HD video. I also carry a Gopro to capture videos, but my favorite is my cell phone that I use for twitter to connect with my 2932 followers. Actually I had 3000 + but then this gang of friends decided to unfollow me, as I did not RT some of the junk they were posting, so they decided to unfollow me. Losers!”

Traveler

Solo woman traveler

Before I could peel off the haloed solo traveler, I was gheraoed by the Solo Woman Traveler with her triple halos. With a spunk in her gait, she sashayed and looked at me as if I am “Dhartee ka bojh.

“You know I recently backpacked all alone in Europe, just after I quit my corporate job, and then to Indonesian Islands. All ALONE CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? I, A CITY GIRL, ALL ALONE IN THE REMOTE Islands of Indonesia!!! Full of tribals, people who eat snakes and collect skull Trophies!! I traveled there as a SOLO WOMAN TRAVELER!!! Trust me Mr. desi nothing beats a Woman Solo Traveler.”

Though she looked nothing like a snake, so I was not sure why she was worried about folks with a dietary preference for snakes. But I was suitably impressed and was sure a Padma Bhushan was on her way from Bharat Sarkar.

Traveler

The biker

My touristy existence was also disturbed by the vroom vroom of a biker. “Ah The desi Traveler is here, I heard you were in Kerala on a bus? Do you know how environment unfriendly diesel is, and to travel with 25 strangers, man I can never do that. I will die of suffocation in a bus with all those strangers.” As I was thinking of a counter move, the monologue on the bike continued.

“Man, I only ride my bike, a super-charged 500 cc bike, and I have crushed boulders in Ladakh under her wheels.”

My desi brain was working overtime to comprehend how a single guy on bike is chuddy buddy while a bus full of people is enemy of environment.

But with all these different types of travelers Solo, Woman, Backpacker, Biker, Explorer etc. looking down on me the poor desi Traveler, I was thinking there must be something I can do to make my travels look better.

Then an eco-friendly LED bulb switched on in my desi brain, and I realized I am MBBS MD traveler. No I have never been to medical school, but that does not stop thousands of quacks in this country from claiming to be doctors.

desi Travelers 1

So, it is very simple since we, husband and wife, travel with our daughters, I will call myself MBBS MD Traveler or Miya Biwi, Bacche Samet, Mr. desi Traveler. I know it is a very old joke, but it has given a new lease of life to my travels.

Thanks for reading. I need to book a MBBSMDtraveler.com before somebody else does.

Disclaimer: The article does not intend to make fun of my traveler friends but is only a humble appeal to say that as travelers let us look beyond labels and travel for the love of it. Because true travel makes you shun labels and not gather them.

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48 Thoughts on “How I got my MBBS MD!

  1. LOL! MBBS, MD!

    Discovered two things about you Prasad – a bit about your family and that you have an amazing sense of humor. And about people labeling and judging you on region, sex and culture – I think all of them are free with no purpose in life. They can’t think beyond it.

    And I love your photography. Keep traveling and keep blogging. 🙂
    Saru Singhal recently posted…Love, it is…My Profile

  2. All I can say is that in the intolerant times we live in, we need more travelers like you. Great captures MBBS doc.

  3. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder on January 11, 2015 at 2:48 am said:

    I was smiling all along while reading his. I’ve visited Prasad’s blog, not regular though but I didn’t have any idea that he has such an amazing sense of humour 😀 Greatly enjoyed this piece and nice to know about him and his family.

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, Desi Traveler 🙂 I admire your humorous take on the different traveler types, the stereotypes and the solo-woman traveler. As long as you do what makes you happy, there is no need to justify it to anyone.

    Yes, I also agree with Saru. Such incredible photography! Truly gifted.

    Rachna, thank you for hosting Prasad on your blog!
    Shailaja V recently posted…If God exists and other dilemmasMy Profile

  5. MBBD, MD 🙂
    Hilarious, Prasad. I’ve often followed your posts (and photographs) via G+ and I love the humorous tinge that accompanies your writing too. Rachna, thank you for hosting Prasad.
    Sid recently posted…“How does it feel ?”My Profile

  6. MBBS MD in traveling! Ingenious and a befitting title. We have some very unique travelers in our blogosphere 🙂 Some journeys should be made with people we love and people whom we are comfortable with and some journeys must be made alone…both have their own charm.

    Nice post and thanks Rachna for hosting Desi Traveler. A delightful read.

  7. This was an awesome post – never expected this was what the MBBS MD was going to be all about. An absolute delight to read. And very relavent topic – I have also thought a lot about this tourist v/s traveller thingy and look up to the traveller kind of folks. I have personally had to make do with being a tourist only most of the time. But then your post made me feel good about it after all.
    The Fool recently posted…Role Playing GamesMy Profile

    • I think one is not better than the other. We all have our own families, circumstances etc. In my early days I too use to travel Solo but what is a person if he does not evolves. So when some of the so called Solos get married have kids are they going to continue Solo then too ? I don’t know may be they will, but I chose to travel with my family. That does not make me better than anybody, just a bit different or may be same same but different 🙂
      Prasad Np recently posted…A Walk Photographing Delhi Heritage in MehrauliMy Profile

  8. Wow…I’m kinda jealous of you, Prasad…all that traveling and exploring is what I always crave for but have yet not ventured to do much of. Loved your sense of humor through-through! Looking forward to reading more of your travel adventures!
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post with us Rachna 🙂
    Vinodini Iyer recently posted…Care for a cuppa?My Profile

  9. Lovely pictures. And some excellent points in the writeup, Prasad, about stereotypes of travel and travelers. While much good comes from traveling, there is also something strangely reminiscent of the old idea of ‘exploring new territories to colonize and civilize’ which makes me skeptical of many new trends being promoted by the travel & tourism industry, such as visiting places that were yet pristine and untouched by human civilization. Well, I don’t call myself really a traveler but somehow that these thoughts came to me as I read this. O wait, in a way we all are travelers — in this journey called life 🙂
    Beloo Mehra recently posted…The Right RemedyMy Profile

    • Beloo: You bring another very important point to discussion. Who are we to judge people whose lifestyle is different from ours. The colonials destroyed whole civilizations in the lame attempt to teach folks a their way of life. High time we let locals decide what is good for them a mine or a forest and many such choices that they need to make.
      Prasad Np recently posted…A Walk Photographing Delhi Heritage in MehrauliMy Profile

  10. MBBS MD Traveler… that’s so cool and fun! Enjoyed the way you demystified the halo around the various types of travelers! 🙂
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…Why I ReadMy Profile

  11. Oh dear I didn’t know there was so much hullabaloo regarding what type of traveller you are. I loved your blog name – Desi Traveller. It’s very different and ever since I came across your blog I had always wondered how innovative it is. MBBS – hahaha just that’s awesome 😀 I did get some tsk tsk for road trips … “isn’t it uncomfortable” … “I could never do this” … but who cares… I love what I do and that’s the whole point of travelling. Isn’t it?
    Loved reading 🙂 Thanks Rachna and Desi Traveller (I tend to remember people by their blog 🙂 )
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Hills meet the Sea – Mt Pleasant LookoutMy Profile

  12. I loved the mbbs MD traveller ..
    a good travelling anecdote 🙂

    Bikram’s
    Bikram recently posted…Day 10 :- International Delurking Week 2015My Profile

  13. Haha! seriously — you should go get that url before it goes. I’m sure the MBBS MD will be great for the searches, also. (And it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a photo page called the MBBS MD’s Instaorgasms. :D)

    Looks like that Kerala Blog Express turned out to be sour grapes for someone. I’m envious too but I swear I’m thankful for the sights you showed me. (Some of them just went up on one of my walls this morning. :))
    Isn’t the ‘touristy thing’ getting too out of hand. I think it’s a great thing that more people are willing to get out and see the world and isn’t it such a shame to go someplace and not see the must-sees around.

    Thank you for the great read, Rachna, MBBS MD. 🙂
    dNambiar recently posted…A two-tiered beauty called Multnomah FallsMy Profile

  14. I always believed that travelling makes us more receptive and tolerant … And your post just proved that…Enjoyed it immensely
    nabanita recently posted…When memories reach out in strange waysMy Profile

  15. I, now, am the Reluctant traveler 🙂 Your point is something that I have wondered about too. Why is it that, even in leisure activities, we insist on creating a hierarchy of good, better and best? 🙂
    C. Suresh recently posted…Advising – inadvisable?My Profile

  16. Nothing like traveling and I can vouch for what all you mentioned resonates well with a traveler in me:)
    Rahul recently posted…Amazing MelbourneMy Profile

  17. Honestly,I was not following your blog.
    Having read this awesome detailed post,I will now onwards follow you,if not on your travels,at least on your blog.
    B k chowla recently posted…BABA ADVERTISINGMy Profile

  18. Thanks B K .. and welcome to desi Traveler
    Prasad Np recently posted…A Walk Photographing Delhi Heritage in MehrauliMy Profile

  19. Wow Prasad. So nice of you to take the missus and children along. Thats the best part of the travel, isnt it? Also, i liked this writing.. and MBBS was too good.

  20. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. The MBBS MD part topped it all 🙂 I should start reading your blog again… Been a while. And you are so right…being a traveler is beyond all prejudices..travel is always interesting…meeting different people from different corners of the world and above all for people like me, people watch is a big time pass 😛

  21. Please do come back…. we have been missing you at desi Traveler… 🙂
    Prasad Np recently posted…How I got my MBBS MDMy Profile

  22. Good one Dr.Desi Traveller!! Enjoyed it thoroughly!!
    magiceye recently posted…Kapurthala to Keylong – Part 3 of my 2wheeler OdysseyMy Profile

  23. Thanks Deepak Sir.. your travels are an inspiration….
    Prasad Np recently posted…How I got my MBBS MDMy Profile

  24. Spot on! Such a lovely read, Prasad! Oops Mr MBBS MDTraveler ! 🙂
    Though I knew about it but there is no harm in repeating…. you have an amazing sense of humor.

    Now I am thinking .. what should I call myself… A silent traveler? 😛
    Nisha recently posted…Discover ThainessMy Profile

  25. Thanks Nisha, I guess you could easily be ” The Guru Traveler ” 🙂
    Prasad Np recently posted…26th January Parade Rajpath India Gate and President Obama Visiting IndiaMy Profile

  26. I must say Prasad has a great way of writing and adding spunk to a post ..

  27. That’s something… to get an MBBS, MD ! LOL

    Lucky you ! a lady (married with kids )can either be a puri-aloo-achar wali family wedding-Tirupati-VaishnoDevi touristy teerth yatri with in-laws and hot water bags in tow or a SOLO wali elite traveller ….. after DIVORCE or being dumped. Remember Kangana Queen Ranaut …
    I am much inspired by you as in the light of above mentioned scenario I prefer to be happily married with kids, chacha-chachi, mama-mami-in-laws wali tourist if only I could spy a snow capped peak or a gurgling stream even for a second… The images are life saving in dark moments and bows my head in reverence for HIm 🙂
    Lovely hilarious post 🙂

  28. Hi Kokila: Thanks for your insight into the mind of family traveler. We too travel with Khakra, puris, parathas, milk warmers 🙂 etc. traveling with family is fun, and I think we all keep on evolving as a traveler and go through phases, I enjoy each kind of traveling and am thankful to folks like you who keep on enriching my understanding about how we Indians look at travel from traveling with extended family on one side and Solo travel on other side. I guess we are a big enough nation to find each kind 🙂
    Prasad Np recently posted…Fountains near India Gate- Slow Shutter Speed picturesMy Profile

  29. Lol MBBS MD.. It was a fun journey throughout the post. Prasad, your photography impress me more.. now your sense of humour too. It’s nice to know about you n your family. 🙂 keep traveling. keep blogging…!
    Rat recently posted…The CenterpieceMy Profile

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