Wanderlust Interview #1: Satish

Anamaria Koeva 17 November 2020
Photo Credit: Satish Bharathwaj

While we are all doing our best to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, TCS is committed to keeping your wanderlust alive. With this interview series we are hoping to reignite your travel imagination and perhaps even give you some interesting ideas for post-Covid adventures.


TCS is committed to keeping your wanderlust alive


The first interview of the series features Satish, whom I met at the Failed Novelists of Cambridge (now CUPPS). Satish is a first-year PhD student in Plant Sciences, who, amongst other things, likes writing poems and plans to cycle to London one day this academic year. He says he has a surprising collection of music on his phone, so before we got into reminiscing over past travels, I had to ask…

AK: Tell me about your unusual playlist…
SB: It ranges from Tamil Carnatic songs (Rangapura Vihara being one such gem) to Heavy Metal bands like Sabaton (The Last Stand is a powerful album) with beautiful instrumental fusions peppering the playlist. I have no preference towards a specific singer per se. My only criteria is that the music has to touch my soul.

AK: Talking about soul-touching experience, which country made you fall in love with traveling?
SB: India, my home. The width and breadth of it just has so much to offer. To be honest, I haven’t even scratched the surface.

AK: What’s your favourite place in India?
SB: My favourite place in India-unsurprisingly- is my hometown, Trichy. It feels comfortable to be there. Nice people and peaceful ambience. Not too chaotically urban, yet it’s not a disconnected town. It is just right.

AK: What was your first impression of Cambridge and of the UK?
SB: I had read about the weather and I thought I was prepared but I was far from it. My first real impression of Cambridge was “cozy”. As the bus was passing through the suburbs, I looked at the quaint houses which looked warm and comfortable. I thought I want to live in such a house in the future.

AK: Tell me about your last trip. Where did you go, whom with, what did you see?
SB: The last proper trip was over a year ago. I travelled across the length of India with the only friend I made in my seven months of stay in Germany (introvert alert). We visited various temples, four beaches, including the southern tip of the Indian mainland, and of course, the Taj Mahal. But the best visit by far was the Care for Cows shelter for abandoned members of the bovine family. There were about three hundred cows, all so loved and cared for. Some had debilitating injuries, due to cruel treatment by humans. Male calves aren’t a financially attractive investment, so they’re frequently abandoned by the owners. The ambience there was pure, there was just love in the air. Have a look at their Instagram page, @careforcowsvrindavan, for a dose of positive vibes.

AK: Which other countries have you visited? Could you tell us a story?
SB: The only other country I’ve visited is Deutschland. This was my first experience outside of India and it was memorable. There was a month-long language course to learn German – from scratch. As a part of the course, we visited Berlin over a weekend. Being an automobile fanatic, I absolutely wanted to visit the Deutsche Technische museum. I asked the people in charge if I could go there as the itinerary didn’t include that. So, just took a daily metro pass and travelled across the city alone with close to no language skills and it was just so worth it. I also had kirche kuchen as a delicious snack at the museum café. This other time I roamed about the city of Cologne at 4am in the cold winds like a crazy tourist, but that story is for another time.

AK: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?
SB: I want to see the northern lights from Norway and bear witness of the glorious Milky Way from the Australian outback.

AK: What’s the most unusual mode of transportation you have used?
SB: The back of a bullock cart? I hope that counts.

AK: Definitely! How far did you travel on it?
SB: A couple of kilometres. From one metro station to another in Chennai. A random person doing a market trip picked me up.

AK: Your favourite travel YouTube channel, movie or TV series?
SB: James May: Our man in Japan. Felt wholesome throughout.

Would you like to share your travel highlights in the Wanderlust Interview Series? Drop us an email on adk45@cam.ac.uk to arrange an interview!