Gulshan Devaiya a graduate from NIFT has made a splash in Bollywood, thanks to his role as 'KC' in the film "Shaitan". His first film was Anurag Kashyap's "That Girl In Yellow Boots" where he plays the role of the bumbling Kannada gangster Chittiappa Gowda. He followed this up with a small but notable role as a smooth talking drug peddler 'Ricky' in "Dum Maro Dum". Gulshan was born and raised in Bangalore, studied at Cluny Convent, St Joseph's Indian high school and BEL Pre University college. He then graduated from NIFT (97-00 batch) with many awards to his name . He worked in the fashion business for almost 10 years and also taught fashion at Wigan & Leigh college in Bangalore. He worked as an actor with various groups in Bangalore's English theater circuit before moving to Mumbai. His most noteworthy play being Harami theatrer's "Butter and Mashed Banana".
Which is the last holiday you took and what were the highlights of the trip? While on vacation what is most important to you?
I am not a much of a holiday person and I love spending time at home. My trip to Greece year and a half ago has been the last holiday I took as well as the most memorable one. Beautiful place, great weather, air that you breathe and it makes you feel alive. I have never been in a place with such perfect weather and beauty.
Every place has its distinct flavour and I love food. Every time I am in a new location I make it a point to visit the local restaurants to sample anything from local delicacies, to street food, to fancy cuisine.
How do you plan your holiday? When on vacation what do you like to do?
Most of my vacations have been extended stays at the shoot destinations. Every place has something different to offer and I visit places without any expectations. If I am aware of any famous place in the city, monument, cuisine, lounges, etc, I check them out otherwise I go by impulse. Once I have decided what I feel like doing, I ask around how it can be done best.
Apart from a desire to make an attempt at bungee jumping whenever I visit New Zealand, I am not an adrenalin junkie. My holiday could include anything I feel like, from gymming to jogging, ordering in room service, shopping or visiting a beach or a lounge. I am not a materialistic person but I can spend half a day just trying out and buying clothes. If I feel like observing a lot of people, I ask around for a crowded beach, otherwise I am mostly weary of crowded places and stick to less crowded beaches.
What has been the most bizarre thing that you have eaten when experimenting with your food in a foreign location?
I am a curious person and I like to try out everything that looks delicious. If a cooked frog looks like a frog the chances are that I may never taste it. Once when I was in Indonesia I ordered a dish which had snails in it. The presentation was very appetising and when I took the first bite it tasted like bad chicken. I have never been able to get myself to order snails since.
Which destination for you has the highest repeat value?
Which place according to you is highly over rated?
I was in Venice for the International Film Festival. I found it very boring, the streets were narrow and you had to travel by boats and it was very expensive. I love architecture and old buildings but I found Venice to be just too old with heritage all over and to me that as a bit of an over doze, for my liking.
Most embarrassing travel moment
I was traveling from Delhi to Bangalore with my friends. This was towards the end of the Kargil war and here were army guys travelling in the same compartment. There was some misunderstanding and my friends thought the army guys were drunk and were harassing some girls in the compartment. A fight broke out and we faced all the angst and frustrations of the war the men had left behind. The kicks and punches continued even as the military police intervened. I was not a part of the fight but then we all got beaten up silly.
Which is your favourite weekend getaway in India?
I am based in Mumbai and I find South Goa always very welcoming and peaceful. I am not a night club person, so drinking and dancing is not my thing. You will find me in a night club only if I am forced to be with a group that wants to be taken to a night club. So I would recommend South Goa as a place to chill out and lounge around.
How do you think the travel scene has changed in India in recent times?
We are a huge country and full of diversity but then the finer nuances of our culture are lost in the unification as a nation. Middle class are at the mercy of public transport and travels mostly by railways which is the oldest but not the best in the world. Now that most families can afford a car the travels have become more comfortable but then there isn't much the hospitality industry has to offer in the budget range.
Which are the five places that are there in your 'must visit' list?
The names that come to my mind are Brazil, Japan, Paris, Vienna and Daman & Diu. Brazil is a huge country that offers wonderful culture, soccer and vibrancy. I grew up watching 'Samuri Jack' and I find Japan very fascinating, an ancient culture that has transformed itself into a modern country despite all odds. Paris has been romanticised for ages and I would love to experience it. I was good at history and have learnt to appreciate art and architecture. Vienna is an old city and the birth place of renaissance. I am looking forward to an opportunity to walk through the innumerable art galleries and streets of the ancient city. I am told Daman & Diu is beautiful, it is not to far from Mumbai and I hope to make it to its amazing beaches and other pristine locations some time soon.
What are the things that really put you off when holidaying?
I don't like to travel in a big group. I am a stickler for time and I find it very annoying when a decision is made and people don't turn up on time or don't turn up at all.
Any tips on how a young couple can make a vacation truly memorable?
Young couples must try and be themselves, and enjoy each other's company. The objective of a vacation is to find a balance in the relationship and to form a deeper understanding of each other. In terms of vacation, I would say don't plan much and if at all you do then you stick to it. If one can afford, Greece is the place to be at otherwise India has a lot to offer at Shimla, Manali, Darjeeling and many other hill stations.
A monument that you have seen and which has stayed most vividly in your memory
I had seen beautiful pictures of The Taj, had heard a lot about it, its relevance in history and its legendary status. I used to think there is not much left to discover about the monument, until 1999, when I had the opportunity to see it. It was late in the evening during winters when I visited Taj. There wasn't much crowd and the sun was setting, it was truly breathtaking