Music and movies apart, if there's anything else singer-actor Renjini Jose is passionate about, it’s travel, for there’s nothing more refreshing and exhilarating for her than a jaunt to her favourite tourist hotspots. She’s lucky in that she's been able to see a lot of places, thanks to the around-the-world stage shows.
The lovely lass who has lend her mellifluous voice to hundreds of songs in both Tamil and Malayalam, shares with Onmanorama, her deep love for travelling and exploring places unseen.
The coronavirus scourge and the world-wide lockdown put an end to all current plans as all stage shows and other live programmes had to be cancelled. A scheduled show in Vienna on which she had set her heart got called off. She was looking forward to this particular show as her parents too were all set to accompany her. Though a bit down and out over the setback to her travel plans, Renjini is happy that she is relatively safe in her homeland and has been spared the trauma of being quarantined in unknown places.
Unless we’re together in this war on coronavirus, the blight will never be conquered, she says. Once the virus flees, things will be back to normal, she hopes.
The singer loves to take off to locales that offer Nature’s bounty and most of her destinations abound is scenic wealth. This time round, a lot of short trips that were scheduled had to be called off. One such destination was Thekkady, where photo ops were for free all around. The forest, the lake, a stay in the wild and the animals would have been ideal fodder for her lens. But, sadly, coronavirus had to play spoilsport.
Travel is an ideal stress-buster, says Renjini. It not only revs up your body, but peps up your spirit also.
Feeling blue? Then off you must on short trips, is what she has to say. All your black moods will vanish once you touch down at a new spot and drink in its delights.
Renjini is happy that she’s been to a lot of places. Her shows have taken her to almost all places abroad and within the country too. Of all places, the one spot she’d love to go back to is Bali and though Kampuchea happens to be her favourite tourist destination, somehow, the place has slipped from her itinerary. Though the country beckons, the singer has not been able to make it to the place.
Renjini turns all dreamy as she conjures up visions of a romance called Greece, for such is the lure of its hoary history and scenic beauty.
Santorini in the Aegean Sea, has always been her dream destination. A part of the Greek islands, the images of the wildly beautiful rugged island keep haunting her. It would indeed be a dream come true to walk around Santorini’s whitewashed, cubiform houses, hang on to the cliffs that that leap out of an underwater caldera or crater, stroll on lava-left pebbly beaches and enjoy its picturesque sunrises and sunsets. Ever since she chanced to see visuals and videos of Santorini, the place has remained one hot must-see destination. “I love Santorini, and I must make it to the spot”, gushes the beauty.
It’s not just the physical features of a place that attract her. She goes deep into the lives of the people there, their history, culture and their cuisine too. “No country is the same, the culture and feature of each country is unique to it and I’ve tried to understand them and gel with them”, says Renjini.
To Renjini, almost all the Gulf countries are as familiar as her own home. It’s again a matter of pride that she’s covered all 14 districts of Kerala... thanks, once again to her stage programmes.
An experience that will forever be etched in memory is her skydiving adventure in Florida. Though exhilarating, it left her gaping in awe. Scuba diving too is another sport she’s avidly into.
Fun apart, Renjini recounts one close encounter of an elephantine kind she once experienced. Along with kindred souls, she was exploring the wilds of Wayanad, when the frolickers spotted a herd of elephants. Mesmerized by the wild beauty, they paused by to enjoy the sight. A sudden turn to the side saw them face to face with a lone wild elephant, apparently a rouge, who stood sizing up the party. As the pachyderm moved towards their vehicle, the driver switched off its lights and everyone sat rooted to their seats, terrified, holding their breath. A few minutes into the silence, they decided to move away and turned on the vehicle. The engine’s purr spurred the elephant to run after them.
That’s all she remembers, recalls Renjini. They fled for their lives. Call it luck or providence that saved us all, she says. To this day, that one moment of intense fear is as fresh as it can ever be.
There are more place to be seen and explored. The singer waits with patience in the hope that the coronavirus will make its exit soon and the world will be back to its original rhythm.