Actress Chandra Lakshman reminisces on her myriad travels

Chandra Lakshman

It’s been quite a long break for Chandra Lakshman from the mini screen. Now that she’s back, fans seem to be happy that she’s once again under the TV lights. Quite the globe trotter, for Chandra, travelling holds the same allure as acting. Here she is, throwing light on her “wanderings”, as she talks to Manorama Online.  

For Chandra Lakshman, travel has an obvious purpose. It throws up an entirely new world before her. New places, new faces, fresh experiences, varied customs, traditions and cultures, food as fresh as the places and several other novelties are what she looks forward to while going around. She says she just does not take off to a particular place on an impulse. She delves into the life and culture of each place before she jets off to that particular spot. But tasting life in the raw is totally different from what one gets to read from books, she adds. And therein lies all the charm. That’s why she loves to travel. Travel gives one the experience of a lifetime. It’s priceless, she says.

Roads trips are Chandra’s favourite all-time travel joys. She enjoys that relaxed mode of transport. Thanks to Google maps, driving down to a place is a pleasure. There are no travel hiccups, no fumbling around for the correct location and no need for stopping and asking passersby for the right direction. She finds travelling by car the safest way of getting around. The family is always on the move whenever a chance or a holiday comes up. 

No to travel planning 

Chandra Lakshman is totally against the “planning” strategy. She seldom chalks out a travel itinerary and never sets out with one. In fact, she hates the very concept of a planned holiday. Things work out for her on the spur of the moment. And there’s never a tab on the extent of stay. “If I like a place, I’m there for as long as I like it”, she hastens to add. The very idea of sticking to deadlines while sightseeing is something she abhors. 

“What’s the big idea of travelling to a strict plan?” she asks. It’s to chill out, drink in the sights and sounds of a place and to keep our mind and body refreshed that we travel, says Chandra. Time is of no relevance when you travel. One travels for sheer joy, and not to be enslaved by the burden of time, she says. 

Work and travel

Chandra admits she’s been pretty lucky to see a lot of locales, thanks to her work which takes her to places far and near. Once work commitments are over and done with, she goes around checking on all the major tourist attractions. She has been to almost all the districts of Kerala. 

As for travel across the seas, Chandra talks about her trips to Singapore, Malaysia, Pattaya, Bangkok, the UAE and several other places. Once her official commitments are over, Chandra extends her stay and converts her days into personal experiences. 

Love for shopping 

The lady admits that she’s crazy about shopping. It’s her lifeline. Of all places she’s been to, she admits it’s to Singapore that’s she’s hooked where one can enjoy the best of sights and shopping. Apart from the large circle of friends there, Singapore has the finest food and the most of everything, she says.

The charm of Singapore begins right from the wondrous Changi, one of the most attractive airports in the world. One needs days to drink in the sights of Singapore. With its strikingly tall structures, islets and quaint lanes, Singapore is a veritable tourist paradise. The UAE is also another of her tourist hotspots, she adds.

Stuck in Qatar

Despite all her happy travel days, one particular painful travel experience refuses to fade away. Chandra recalls the time when she had to be a part of about 15 stage shows in the Gulf region. The first round over, the team arrived at the Qatar airport to board the flight to their next destination when disaster struck in the form of an “expired” passport. Though she had updated it, the papers related to it were messed up. This passport snag held her up in Qatar, preventing her from going with her team. That was one moment when fear, tension and sadness overwhelmed her. However, things were corrected within a day. The singular good thing that happened to Chandra on that momentous day was the new circle of friends who rallied around her and with whom she still is in regular touch.

Travel with family and friends

Chandra’s closest travel companions are her parents with whom she loves to drive down to temples. “Here in Chennai, where we live, there are so many of them where we always go to”, says the actor. 

She also enjoys travelling with friends. Though she is happy with a lot of folks whom she can call friends, there’s hardly anyone she really is close to. As most of her pals are IT professionals, they don’t get to chill out together as their work schedules clash. But when a chance comes up, the entire gang is up for the next jaunt. 

Favourite spots in Kerala

Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram are close to Chandra’s heart for the simple reason that there are places aplenty in both districts where one can take off for on the spot plans. Though high on urbanization, both districts have arbours of simple, rustic delights.

Global jaunts

Chandra Lakshman would love to see the world, its people and its cultures. Such a trip would be a combo of solo outings and trips with friends and family. Her eyes are already set on Switzerland. But she knows she has to wait till the coronavirus scare dies down. 

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