Somebody, apart from the man himself had to be behind Aamir's six-pack ab look in Ghajjini which was not a computer generated wonder but the result of 13 months of work out with a daily regimen of four hours. Indeed, Satyajit Chaurasia is the man behind that look and he has been around for more than a decade helping and guiding some of our toughest looking heroes with their fitness regimen. Founder of 'Barbarian Gym' in Mumbai with branches in Delhi and Nagpur, he has also worked with Esha Deol, Hrithik Roshan and Ritiesh Deshmukh.
Travel is a part and parcel of his life and something he makes a conscious effort to enjoy. In an unhurried chat with hindustantimes.com, he tells Aamit Khanna what makes him tick and what doesn't when it comes to travel.
Which was the last holiday you took and what were the highlights of the trip?
I love doing what I do and that is the reason why work is actually pleasure. So though technically my last outstation trip was to Diu for the shoot of Agneepath where I accompanied Hrithik Roshan as his personal trainer, I count it as a holiday since I worked, soaked in the place, had fun and came back with memories. The highlight of the trip for me was training with Sanjay Dutt in his personal gym, and all of us having a good time bonding with each other.
When on vacation what do you like to do?
- Just take it easy and laze around
- Check out the regular tourist places
- Head out to lesser known spots
Nothing like heading out to lesser known spots. They have a bit of mystery and are not cramped with tourists.
What has been the most bizarre thing you have eaten when experimenting with your food in a foreign location?
In Belgium, I once tried goose liver which though was supposed to be a delicacy did not go down well with me. I am open to quirky items on my plate but this I could not figure out.
Which destination for you has the highest repeat value?
Europe, I find is serene and peaceful. Every city here has a character and class that is missing in any other continent. Also, every time you visit, you come back with an entire new set of experiences. Once you have done the tourist circuit you must go into the interiors, take the off-beat path and explore without any specific agenda. Of course you need both time and money for that.
Which place according to you is highly over rated?
None, every place has its own unique place under the sun and is therefore special and worth visiting though I know not everyone can appreciate with such magnanimity.
How do you plan your holiday?
- Leave it to your secretary or travel agent
- Trawl the net, check out local references, go by friends' advice
- Don't believe in too much planning and play it by the ear
I leave it to my wife actually. She has an eye for detail I cannot match and also intuitively knows what I would like to do.
Most embarrassing travel moment
Recently on my way back from the US, I forgot to collect my handbag from the customs X Ray machine. I was so jet lagged and t
ired. The fact that I could be so absent minded was quite embarrassing for me.
While on vacation what is most important to you?
- The food
- Sight seeing
- Catching up with friends and family
- Spending some quiet time
I enjoy doing a bit of all this and more. Also, it is your mood that determines what you really want to do and what you also end up enjoying. One should not have any rigid plans. Flexibility should be key while on vacation since that is precisely what we have gotten away from - deadlines, timelines, targets, goals and the rigmarole of our crazy lives.
Which place do you recommend for a weekend getaway in India?
Kerala which truly is God's own country. When the promos show you a coconut tree, a boat and an unending expanse of tranquil water, you find that is the way the entire state is. Calming, rejuvenating, liberating and just the right medication to "sort yourself out".
How do you think the travel scene has changed in India in recent times?
It has changed a lot, because of increased connectivity, cheaper fares and a lot more of experiential sharing. Everyone you know is holidaying or planning holidays. People have now started enjoying what they are earning, rather than just savings for the future and are open to going to exotic locations, doing unusual things and experimenting.
Which are the five places that are there in your 'must visit' list?
New York, Switzerland, Istanbul, Bahamas and Himalayas.
What are the things that really put you off when holidaying?
Unclean bathrooms, bad food and delayed flights.
Any tips on how a young couple can make a vacation truly memorable?
Go to a place, which both of them want to see, plan some surprises for your partner, do outdoor barbeques, have nice champagne and try and burn the extra calories in the morning.
A monument that you have seen and which has stayed most vividly in your memory
Ajanta and Elephanta caves and The Taj Mahal.