Muscat: He is a vagabond by nature, a traveller by passion and a corporate employee by choice. Meet Indranil Chowdhuri, who is going places, because for him sky is the limit.
“I have already visited 102 countries across the world and plan to visit at least 150 countries in the next few years,” he told the Times of Oman.
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“The passage of being a rolling stone spans from loafing about in the Caribbean, through the historical, geographical and evolutionary splendours of the planet, to a regime-escorted tour in North Korea. Being witness to amazing things, events extraordinary, and circumstances are simply too exciting. It has been an eventful a journey until now,” said the 51-year-old, who works at a Sohar company.
Chowdhuri’s other passion is his collection of more than 1,000 shot glasses and 500 fridge magnets from various parts of the globe.
“But still the heart cries out to lose oneself in the wilderness of New Zealand or see the sun setting on the Pacific sipping a drink in Chile; or try a hand in archery with the descendants of Genghis Khan in Mongolia. Walking down the Potemkin steps in Odessa, Ukraine; to a never-ending journey across Asia on the Trans-Siberian Express; playing with penguins in Antarctica is what keeps the heart beating still. While at it, may be drop by in Argentina to remind them that their Selecao neighbours are better with the ball than them. Post that, if I can manage to escape alive, immerse myself in the fascinating Central Asian countries, which were once a part of the great USSR,” he added.
When asked to cite some wonderful experiences, he said that while on a vacation in Moscow, he had met the ex-president of USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, while walking on the streets of Moscow.
“I was in the first aircraft, which the LTTE blew up when they attacked the Colombo airport some 15 years ago. So I have missed death by a whisker many times,” he narrated.
He describes the planet as an “extraordinary conglomerate of things beyond description.”
“And life is beautiful, since it gives one an opportunity to savour it all,” he explained. But one of his most prized possessions is a World War II helmet that he procured from Albania.
“I was in Tirana, the capital city, and while roaming in the cobbled streets, I met this old lady near a fort, who was selling war artefacts that her husband had collected,” he said.
“After much bargaining, I finally got it dirt cheap. It now has a special place in my house,” he said.
A travel enthusiast, he would love to go to some more Central Asian countries, which would help him unwind completely, he said.
“But no place would give me the mental peace and satisfaction until and unless my family is around,” he finally conceded.