Who I am?
I am Tanishka. An engineering graduate from a lower middle class family in Farrukhabad district of Uttar Pradesh (North India), I hardly travelled during my formative years. Education was all my parents could afford despite their best intentions. But their hard work got me through college and I landed a cozy job in the banking sector.
A couple years into the job , the shallowness of my successes in the corporate domain dawned on me and I figured it was time; to get out, to find a purpose that meant more than just financial security and dedicated ass-licking. I got myself a camera and backpacked solo across North-East India, collecting stories, capturing in visuals the lives of the people I met along the way — how their routines contrasted my own, yet how most of them, like myself torn between commitments and desires, sought to become better versions of themselves.
Our gentrified urban existences often lull us into complacency with most of us taking for granted the basic necessities for life. As tourists we exoticise the life in the mountains, thinking only of the calm and peace, but hardly if ever of the daily struggle it takes to survive – “kids walking miles daily, unattended for an hour of class; dispensaries shut down for lack of resources; tribes steeped in tradition grappling with the onslaught of modernity.” Tani Travel Tales for me is a way to resolve prejudices, insensitivity that derives from not-knowing, from glossing over, to convey these narratives of resilience that are swept under the rug.
When I realised my love for travel?
I never travelled much till college except the visits to the relatives and my grand parents but I still remember rejoicing the long train journeys with my brother. We both would fight for the window seat and try to pass the time by counting the trees outside. Relishing the snacks at different stations was also one of the things that made us love those train journeys. Years later, I still love looking outside the window, however the visits to relatives are replaced by innumerable travels to nooks and corners of my country.
During the first year of my corporate job I travelled to Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. When I came back I could feel that something inside me had changed, nothing that I could point out or state in words but a feeling of liberation. That was the first time when I realised that I want to travel more. I would spend my time day dreaming about the places I have never been to and I wished to go someday.
Eventually I started travelling solo initially as an only option and later on by choice.
What is travel to me?
For me travel is to collect stories. Stories of people I meet on my way, stories of delicious cuisines, stories that the ruins behold, stories of years old culture, stories behind the dresses that people wear, stories of wisdom that wrinkles carry, stories of friendships forged, stories of hardships and laughters, stories of anything and everything I see on the road.
What is my way of travel?
I am an impulsive traveller who is more than happy to skip the touristic spots of any place and love to travel offbeat. I like to travel without so much of a planned itinerary and prefer public transport since it allows you time to converse with locals and know more about the place.