Author of the recently launched book, The Perils of Being Moderately Famous, Bollywood actor Soha Ali Khan shares some of her favourite holiday spots
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The joy of travelling with a friend is inversely proportional to the level of social-media addiction he suffers from. I discovered this on a recent weekend getaway to the Kangra Valley in the Himalaya.
It seemed as though the sun lighting up the mighty Dhauladhar or a flock of Himalayan swiftlets bursting from a pine tree could only be truly appreciated through the lens of an iPhone. It is one thing to capture a moment for posterity, but the loud, unrelenting sound of his camera shutter followed me on every hike, shattering any hopes I had of distinguishing one birdcall from another.
While passing a village, he made two old men pose around a fire for that perfect shot. He entered a shepherd’s hut, looked around, and walked out, shaking his head. “Nothing worth clicking,” he announced. He epitomised the city-dweller who thinks the mountains and its residents exist only to populate his Instagram page. And it didn’t stop there.
“I think I like this girl at work.” “Does this colour suit me?” “Should I wear a suit or a kurta for that wedding next month?” The never-ending irrelevant questions made me dream of a world where muzzling another human being would be considered normal.
He grumbled about the insects at night, trampled an ant hill in his path, and chucked litter in a mountain stream. On our last night, he complained that the local cuisine had upset his stomach. What I had imagined as a peaceful weekend getaway turned out to be an aural nightmare.
There are some who are in love with the idea of travel but expect the comforts of the city everywhere they go. By the end of the trip, I imagined myself pushing him off a cliff, but the realist in me quashed the idea. On the way back, he kept gushing about how beautiful the entire experience had been. I wish I could say the same.
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