Tourism: A Grift called tour management.

It was a sad Sunday. For nearly six years I have never spent so much mental energy as today. I was ashamed. There is a Hindu epic called Ramayana or the story of Rama. The legendary Sita as she is revered as ‘Mother Sita’, when questioned about her chastity roars to mother earth to open her womb so that she may retrace back to her. As the legend has it, the earth splits and Mother Sita descended into her mother and vanished.
I wished whole day but the mother earth did not comply. Certainly because I was guilty. There is no greater guilt than not admitting the guilt. So what was it?

Few weeks back I received a brochure from some tour operators about visiting places like Edinburgh, Russia, America for a week to two. Prices were between $800 to $2200. I would say ridiculously low.  Upon reading carefully I discovered that the night stay was limited to one or two nights only. Which meant that for a week or fortnight I shall be straining in a bus seat. Food was also vaguely mentioned. Most of the world does not know the meaning of Vegetarian.
I almost threw it into trash but it survived.
Today despite being Sunday, I contacted a blogging friend for some help, which he was kind enough to extend but before that he sent me few links about his personal experience about visit to India. I was busy reading every thing, whole day. He clearly was duped by a grifter. He visited to India and was shown poverty making him to believe that this poverty is India and was told he has to live like poor people live while making them part with money. I sensed it immediately but had no courage to tell him. I wrote a long travel advisory and shared with him to improve but that did not help my anxiety. It is a fact that there are a billion poor in India but if a person has not seen poverty, close exposure can be shoking and therefore not necessary.
Scotland is my mother land in a sense. I have drunk more Scotch than my mother’s blood when I was infant. (Forgive me Mom if my nephew is reading to you this post as well) My this duped friend, by that standard happens to be my half-brother. I do not know how to tell him that he stayed in slum area in his visit which is rumoured for prostitution and drugs. We never visit this area. Of course monks may also dwell in such areas because they are cheap.
Tour operators are such crooks. I wonder what is the extent of involvement of people. They use vague terms to describe the tour perks, no photographs, nothing written and mostly alluring. No of cases are pending in courts. People are taken from India, they are served with food in the same manner as in life of pie. They are told chicken, cow and goat are vegetarian hence eating its meat is vegetarian. Without proper rest, tourists are dragged from place to place with eyes half closed due to tiredness and lack of proper food. Many fall sick.
Please watch Hustle and Real Hustle on BBC. Or buy the DVD.
I am truly sorry that you were gifted. But remember that people in India do not pull wrist watches from people with arms out of car windows but it is common in Africa. I wonder how long these poor people, here will silently suffer and not starting to do the same here.
God help noble trusting people.
Amen!

P.S.: I can sleep with unburdened heart now.

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About Sandeep Bhalla

A lawyer, thinker, author, Linux/Ubuntu power user and sometime an economist or gardener or philosopher or cook or photographer depending upon the current thought and environment. View all posts by Sandeep Bhalla

2 responses to “Tourism: A Grift called tour management.

  • literary lew

    You continue to rise in my estimation, assuming that you STILL drink scotch as an adult! Scotch and bourbon are works of art. And the women in the ad at the bottom of this post were really lovely, though I know you had nothing to do with that.

    Like

    • Sandeep Bhalla

      I hope I have not risen so high that while falliing it may hurt. What goes up, come down. Weather here is very hot most of time of year. It remains above 100f in May and June. It is only since the last decade or so that the scotch is freely available. But it is good only in winters to keep warm. As regards Women, in my browser it is an ad for shaving lotion with a bare chested male. BTW in India alchohal is a taboo and jinx. Most affuluent people drink but will deny in public. Here is an Urdu Couplet from Mirza Ghalib:
      Yeh masaail-e-tasawaf, yeh tera bayaan e Ghalib,
      Tujhe ham wali samjhte jo na baada khwaar hota.

      In this couplet Ghalib refers to himself and says:
      “With your mystic observation and your expression, we would have considered you a saint, if only you had abstained (or did not consume) wine.”

      Like

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