About the Author of
Hello I am Raj, the founder & editor of this website. You may be wondering who is this person writing hundreds of pages about Darjeeling, and what actually keeps him going? What does he get out of all these? I'll come to that shortly.
I remember when I was in school, it took me several years to save up some money from my bus fares and lunch allowances. It was finally enough to catch a train to New Jalpaiguri and then a bus to Darjeeling with couple of my friends. I lived in Calcutta then. It was my first ever savings and I used that for making a trip to Darjeeling, a place with which I now have an integral connection.
When I look back and wonder why such passion for the place, here is what pops up in my mind:
It was my first ever experience in the hills, that too independently and out of the clutches of my parents. And it was of course the first opportunity to get lost in a wonderland which I leveraged to my heart's content. Three of us stayed in a large room in Jubilee Sanatorium below Darjeeling station.
The first toy train ride, the first independent stay in a hotel, the first ever unabated opportunity to blend with the mountains & the nature, the beautiful tea gardens on the slope of rolling hills, the walk along scenic mall road on a misty morning... they were all very special to me.
We met with a few locals who became friends for life. Who knew that one day those memories would finally go on to change my life altogether.
Soon after my schooling I was into the serious grilling of life to fight out my career. After all, I was a son of a very successful father. He was an engineer by profession and made it large in his career. Such giant example and expectation left me with no choice.
I followed my father's footsteps, did my engineering from IIT Kharagpur in Computer Science and started my life's rigor striving to become another boss of corporate world.
Gradually life was all about extensive travel, both within country and all over the world. The corporate spree and the ladder climb continued in global giant companies, but through huge stressful conditions.
But whenever such stress threatened to overpower me, I took breaks and often came back to Darjeeling. This place continued to give me the solace I was looking for. And every time I came here, I found it harder and harder to get back to corporate world. There was something from inside telling me to slow down.
Sure I finally made it to the top-end of the corporate ladder and performed senior leadership roles in large global companies at a relatively young age. But the question that kept coming back to me was at what cost? My wife often questioned me ... "Do you ever notice how is your son growing up?" That question kept haunting me. I was losing the balance between work and life.
In 2005 I decided to start spending some time in writing about something I knew and loved. That was actually the genesis of this web site and few others. I was travelling to Darjeeling and all over the world anyway. And I always loved to travel. Those days I could get time to scribble down my travel findings only on some of the week-ends perhaps with a subconscious desire to stitch them all together one day. But with time, the passion only continued to grow and finally started to dominate my mind.
And soon, I was serious to quit my job and be a full time travel writer. It was a scary decision of choosing between an established corporate career and an unknown. But despite all odds, I was finally able to pull the plug out of that sticky corporate socket. I'm glad that I followed my passion. I never had to look back since then. All along in this journey of change, my family stood by me firmly.
While I use the 'Travel Writer' within me to write all the content, I also use my IT background to develop, host and maintain this website and ensure that it follows the best technology available. I do not need to use an external company to maintain my website and keep pace with technology trends. I have kept my website simple in design but it incorporates advanced technology internally.
Well as far as Darjeeling and North-East India is concerned, I have been striving to build an information warehouse so that if you are wanting to plan an over-the-top vacation in the hills, you can actually do so. Or if you want to know about the place, its people, history, culture, flora & fauna, weather, or just anything about this gem of a hill town and its surrounding areas, you don't have to look any further.
I have made a full circle in life and came back to start living in Calcutta once again. This helps me to be in a major city that is close to Darjeeling, the place that I had always loved so dearly. I now have countless friends in the hill town.
I have created Darjeeling Tourism Card
and also written an eBook on Darjeeling & Sikkim
both of which are available through this website. I believe they are tremendous resources for tourists to save on cost and to know about the places in the hills to plan a well thought-out vacation.
I am sincerely thankful to thousands of tourists who have purchased the Tourism Card and eBook, and helped supporting a great cause, and that is to promote our beloved Darjeeling as well as Sikkim, and also to help sustain this website.
Now getting back to the original question... what actually keeps me going? As you can understand passion for travel writing is of course a major driving force. But other than passion, there is another big force that helps me immensely to carry on with my work. And that comes from viewers like you.
Everyday I keep receiving numerous messages from the viewers telling me how they benefited from this website. Nothing can be more rewarding and fulfilling to a travel writer than this. Here are some messages from my website readers that give me the conviction that I must be on the right track with my efforts: Viewers Reviews of this website
Below is my interview excerpt published in 2017 by a joint initiative of Ministry of Tourism (Government of India) and an Australian Research & Advocacy firm promoting Darjeeling in Australia.
You can click on the above image to see the published interview (it will open in a new browser window, scroll down to see the interview as well as many other great information about Darjeeling).
I continuously update this website (Darjeeling-Tourism.com) with new findings & experiences. If you have visited Darjeeling and have a story or experience to share, then click Your Story
and do so. I can lock it in forever for millions of viewers to cherish.