Conservationist, environment scientist, amateur historian and safari lodge owner (Mela Kothi Chambal Safari Lodge to be specific) , Anu has been on gap-year mode for over two decades, it’s probably why we get on so well! Happiest when clambering through undergrowth & discovering crumbling ruins, she quite fancies herself Indiana Jones, and why not?
- Who you are (naturally!)
Curious, observant, difficult. Not necessarily in that order.
- What inspired you to create/join your business?
A desire to get back to the countryside. And a bit of foolhardiness.
- An anecdote which epitomizes your India?
The first renovation of the floors in the Mela Kothi. We had just moved back, and I was really excited getting the damaged floors of the Mela Kothi redone by the local masons. Once finished, the floors were washed, and to my dismay had depressions & puddles everywhere. The levels were all wonky. In tears I called out to the head mason. He looked at me bewildered while I tried to compose myself.
Me: There are puddles in my floor!
Me: Yes?! What are we going to do?!
Gobsmacked Me: WHAT do you mean nothing?! I HAVE PUDDLES in my floor.
Him: Yes, but it’s not like you’ll drown in them.
For those wondering, he & I are still friends. Neither of us has a choice it seems.
- One thing that you can’t live without?
- One thing that you hate?
- If you could change one thing about India what would it be?
Punctuality, or just a better understanding of time, maybe.
- Who is your greatest inspiration?
The strong, independent women I grew up with and around.
- What is your favourite quote?
God give me patience, and give it to me now!
- I have noticed huge changes in India over the last few years but what is the biggest change you have noticed in India over the last 10 years?
Far more girls studying in the rural communities, and seeking some form of employment.
- What do you think are the biggest challenges India faces over the next ten years?
Challenges to our inclusive, syncretic ways.
- Which is the destination at the top of your bucket list?
- What is the one place you visited that you have NO desire to return to?
Can’t think of anywhere
- Book or Movie?
- Just for fun! I am doing a survey to find India’s most popular breakfast, what is yours?
Cant do without my boring egg & toast. And, bitter marmalade.
- In retrospect, what is the one thing you wish you could have told your 20 year-old self?
Patience is a virtue, worth acquiring.
Click here for the website of Mela Kothi – Chambal Safari Lodge.
For the essence of the place, read on: https://memsahibinindia.com/snapshots-morning-encounters-at-chambal-safari-lodge/