Vijayan has been a tea-seller for over forty years, however, that hasn’t stopped him and his wife from touring almost every scenic destination in India along with a whopping 16 other countries- Britain, France, Austria, Egypt, UAE, the list goes on.
His tea-stall is his only source of income, something that has never been an obstacle in fulfilling his dream of travelling all over the world. “I got the obsession in traveling from my dad; he took me to different places since I was 6 year old. We went to Madurai, Palani and many other places. Those travel memories with my dad helped me unleash my dreams”, says Vijayan.
“If you really wish to chase your dreams, nothing can stop you from it,” a line like this may sound tacky in isolation, but when Vijayan , a 65-year-old wayside tea-seller owning a tiny tea shop in Kochi says it , a decade’s worth of stories echoing hard work, sweat and conquered dreams tumble out.
Life was not easy on Vijayan while he was growing up. Trips with his father to almost all temples in Kerala triggered his passion for travelling; however his father’s death brought all possibilities of travelling to a standstill as he took up all family responsibilities. It was only in 1988 that he resumed travelling when he accompanied a man as his cook on a pilgrimage to the Himalayas.
What is the point of fulfilling your dreams if you have nobody to share it with, says Vijayan as he refers to his wife Mohana, who joined him forty years ago. Back then her life revolved around Kochi, but post marriage, the couple have explored exotic cities, all on their own. Excitement lights up her face as Mohana explains her most enjoyable journeys.
“I was really excited when we first travelled abroad. Belonging to a very poor family, I never dreamt of a life like this. Later along with him I too became obsessed with the journeys. Switzerland is my favorite among the places we visited”, she says. Switzerland may have been her favourite but according to her, seeing the statue of Jesus in Israel left her rooted to her spot for a long time.
This feature first appeared on The News Minute.