We were heading back home yesterday after a much-needed vacation. After a pleasant drive (see captioned pic!), we decided to stop at a Pastry place to grab a cup of coffee and then some. If you’re in or passing through Mysuru, take a few sometime off and visit Sapa, short for Sourdough and Pastry. They bake delicious stuff and brew addictive coffee. When we’d filled both our stomach and souls and were about to leave, we were in for a surprise – we ran into Kripal!
Who is Kripal? Kripal Amanna is the artist behind the Youtube channel – Food Lovers TV. They have a massive 564K subscribers (myself included). Ha ha. There’s only one other travel/ food show that I like – Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. After Anthony, Kripal is the only person who made me connect to food, its people and the story behind it. The first time I saw Kripal’s youtube channel at a friend’s place, I went bonkers. I’ve seen pretty much every episode since then. Kripal is down to earth and unassuming. The same on and off the screen. Makes you feel comfortable in your own skin. Few people can do that. It was great meeting him.
I couldn’t help but wonder what made Anthony or Kripal the people they are? What is it that they bring to the table – metaphorically and literally in their case? I couldn’t make the connection. I had to sleep over it.
While brushing my teeth today morning, I had one of those “Aha!” moments. Foamy minty toothpaste and a groggy head after a late-night round of Rummy appear to a potent combination to connect the dots. I realised they are great “Ambassadors”. For me, an ambassador represents something they deeply care about. The love for whatever they care about is immense, and once you see them or hear them, you concoct stories about the thing they love.
In that sense, everyone is an ambassador. With travel opening up after the pandemic, you’re going to start visiting places, and people are going to visit your city too. Wherever it is you are visiting, you will carry stories about you and where you’re hailing from. You are not just the canvas, brush strokes or the colours, but you are the entire work of art. How you express yourself in a new city will be how people look at your city, culture, and country. The whole art is up for review. You are an ambassador – and if you want people to weave beautiful stories, be kind, be humble, and be thankful. On similar lines, people are going to be visiting your city too. When a traveller approaches you for help or guidance be kind to them, for once again, you will be the story – of your town and town-folk.
In the end, people become the stories you tell about them. It is the same for an individual, a city, a country, and a civilisation.
So go on, be a great ambassador.