If you spend even a few minutes on Instagram every day and belong from this part of the world, chances are that you know who Srishti Patch is. The performer and internet sensation is one of the original comic influencers of the latter half of the 2010s, and her relatable videos and feel-good content help to cancel out the negativity otherwise on social media. We caught up with Srishti on travel and life. Excerpts:
Like the rest of our generation, are you a travel freak as well?
I do enjoy travelling but I don’t enjoy staying away from home for long periods of time. I tend to get homesick on the third day. If I am travelling for a long time, then day three I when start feeling that. And I start missing my bed and my cat.
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What is the last trip that you took?
I travelled for work a little while back. I went to Madhya Pradesh—I can’t reveal exactly what I was doing but it was purely for work. We got to explore the food there and hang out in the vicinity. We went to Indore and a nearby place called Maheshwar, which has these ghats including the Narmada Ghat. We stayed at the Ahilya Fort and while we couldn’t explore much, we did eat a lot.
Where do you lie on the travelling-during-a-pandemic spectrum? (a) travel but don't post too much about it (b) stop travelling altogether for a while (c) travel can't be stopped because pandemics are here to stay (d) travel all you want and post all you want in apologetically
I would say that only necessary travel should be done—as in if you need to travel for work, then do that. Make sure that you are not asymptomatic and are following the precautions. I feel that until the point the vaccine is here for everyone to take, it would be advisable to refrain from travelling casually. About posting, don’t go to super-crowded places and then brag about it saying ‘hashtag travel life’ or whatever. That’s something blatantly irresponsible in my opinion.
Have you and Kusha Kapila ever travelled together? If yes, where? If not, where do you fancy it—if you do, that is?
I think Kusha and I can go for a trip to Amsterdam and let our hair down and do things that Amsterdam is popular for, haha.
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…why Amsterdam though?
You know why Amsterdam—it is pretty chill. It’ a beautiful place to be in. Some lovely people and a lot of attractions. Just the kind of place two girl-BFFs would have a lot of fun in. Amsterdam is also where a lot of these sitcom movies have been shot where two people have gone for a chill vacation and some shit has gone down. And then they are, like, in trouble with the cops—no, I don’t hope or expect it to happen. But if it does, it would be fun, I guess. No, it won’t be, it won’t be fun.
And it is pretty cat-friendly, too…
Yeaaah, it is pretty cat-friendly. I would love to take my cat somewhere because there aren’t a lot of cat-friendly hotels or vacation-y places. Because often when I am travelling, I miss my cat the most—I am worried about how he is going to be if he’s alone for that long a time. I don’t think Patches will love it (nervously). He’s very happy staying home, but for my sake he’ll have to put up with it.
What's your (a) favourite destination (b) your dream destination?
I like quiet places, places that are full of history and places where you can walk a lot. I really enjoy walking on my travel and discovering bits of history. One place that I vividly remember and that I travelled to when I was quite young is Rameswaram, a small village down south. It’ so rich in heritage and every place you go to has a backstory that you can hear from the locals. As an adult I would really like to revisit Rameswaram. One place I really want to go to is Shillong because a lot of people who have travelled there or live there have told me it’s an experience one can’t afford to miss.
You clearly have a thing for accents—news anchors with the hard nukhta, Britishers, the thick US inflection we see on TV shows and even the Kanpuriya accent—how did it happen? As in to what do you owe it—is it just the fact that you're a performer and actor?
I really enjoy impressions and accents are so specific, a whole language unto themselves. If you speak something in one accent, you can’t really translate it into another language. I would like to believe that I am good at mimicking accents because it’s so much fun. It’s kind of like making magic with your mouth. It’s really interesting for me and people on the internet respond really well because they can relate to it. When I speak in a Kanpuriya accent, people are like, ‘oh haan, even we talk like that.”
Not just India but in many places in the world, I feel we as a culture are largely yet to learn how not to constantly judge and intrude into others' space, something that we regularly face when we travel—what's the coolest place in India?
I feel like everybody stares everywhere in India—men, women, children, old people. Everyone stares at everyone—it’s just a thing. We have to stop, take notice, follow people with our eyes. Even I do it—unconsciously, but I do it a lot. I think it’s hardwired in our system or something to look at each other that way. But in Mumbai, where I have lived for the past eight years, and here I feel I can be invisible here. I can do my thing, walk down the street and feel that I am just part of the crowd, not someone sticking out. People look at you here, too, but it’s a lot less creepy.
What kind of places are the most overrated? Is it the hills or the seaside or something completely different?
I don't think all hill-places or all seaside-places are overrated. I think places that celebrities visit tend to become overrated because then everyone starts travelling to them. Like Maldives right now. Why's everyone in Maldives? What is happening in Maldives? So, a lot of famous people visiting these places also results in them becoming expensive. They no longer remain untouched and undiscovered. But then there's no way to stop it either. I am not saying it's exactly a problem but just something that happens.
Where do you plan to travel next?
I have never been to Goa. As an adult. With friends. I wanted to go to Goa last year but then last year happened. I think I've been working pretty relentlessly since October and I'm going to get some time and maybe I'll take a trip. I also want to go to Pondicherry because there's a really interesting acting/theatre workshop that happens there, and I want to do it. Otherwise, too, I like Pondicherry a lot because of the chill-ness and the amount of cats that are there.