Indians make lousy tourists

Posted: April 28, 2013 in Travelogues
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Indians make lousy tourists, even in their own country. They make a spectacle of themselves when they go abroad, but I guess in their own country, it’s like their ‘baap ka raj’. Take those at the tiger sanctuary in Pench. A majority were ‘aapli mansa’. They were loud, boisterous and thought they were at a mall or multiplex. One idiot even asked the guide to shake the tiger out of its reverie – ‘usko zara hila do’! The guide told him very sarcastically “usko agar hila diya to woh aap sab ko hila dega”. The sarcasm was lost on the idiot.

The minute the guide signalled them to stay quiet they would break into excited whispers that would have woken up the dead. They made so much noise when a tiger was spotted that the scared animal fled. They were screaming to each other that they had spotted the ears, nose and tail of a tiger — which had already left the area! It was embarrassing to say the least., watching the manoos make a fool of themselves. And they also came with infants who screamed their lungs out. Like I said, just like in a mall or multiplex. On the other hand were the foreigners who admired the magnificent beast and clicked away…in silence.

And this was the state of affairs at each place. At Nagzira there was this particular watering hole being frequented by a tiger. Thrice it landed up there to drink water only to be disturbed by a horde of screaming tourists who raced towards the spot. We were told by one of the guides that one adventurous young lady thought she could distract the animal so used her flash. This enraged the tiger so much that it charged at the jeep. It was the shouts of other equally frightened tourists that scared the animal away. I guess it is the Indian upbringing – If I’m paying for it it’s ‘baap ka maal’ – that makes us what we are. What we don’t realise is that in wildlife sanctuaries we are the intruders and should give the animals their space. I guess some Indians will only learn the hard way some day.

Visiting Pench National Park was easily the best part of the trip. We spotted tigers twice and I loved the drive through the jungle. Mukesh Ambani was right, it is the best managed sanctuary. Our driver Shivshankar Baghel was pretty amazing too. He ensured that the three days we spent did not go waste. He drove around Pench like a man possessed to ensure we spotted a tiger up close. “Itni door se aap aaye hain, to aise kaise jaane dein?”

He then drove us to Rukhad forest. This was a real jungle, yet unexplored and so really scary. MP Tourism had just started promoting it so it had no visitors. Even here we spotted fresh pug marks of a rather large tiger. We followed the marks for quite a while but two guards who roared past on a bike must have scared it away. Baghel was so apologetic about it the whole way back that he even gifted my son a lathi!

We stayed at Kipling’s Court which was a very swanky star resort with a swimming pool, bar, a fee snakes on the premises, but little else. They made up for that with their professionalism and the enthusiasm. Thankfully the guides we had were also good. I guess when you’re cheek by jowl to the Taj group resort you really are up against it. The most interesting thing about the Taj crowd was this dark, pretty and extremely sexy woman dressed in camouflage outfit, with studs in her nose and ears, driving one of their canters! She also spoke perfect English to her guests. Both, my wife and I, gave her an appreciative look! Wonder when I can afford a driver like that!!

Kipling's Court in Pench

Kipling’s Court in Pench

  1. Chandran says:

    Unfortunately yes, many Indians tend to behave terribly wherever they go. Having lived outside India for nearly 25 years, we tend to cringe, when our countrymen start raising their voices at the slightest perceived mistake in shops and restaurants. The flip side of it is I never can get anything done in India as I follow queues and talk politely. Politeness is a sign of weakness in India and I guess that is why Indians tend to behave this way wherever they go.

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