IntrCity RailYatri CEO Manish Rathi.
Note to readers: While we accept the reality of the coronavirus, it is important to be optimistic. We must believe that there will be a day when the disease will no longer be the all-destroying scourge it is today. And when that day comes, we will be able to enjoy life, maybe with a few adjustments, the way we did before COVID-19. To that end, we are starting ‘If Covid Vanished ...’, a series of interviews with corporate heads and achievers, where we ask them where they’d like to travel or eat, who’d they like to meet, and so on, if the world became Corona-mukt. Follow the series here.
The irony of it is never lost on Manish Rathi, CEO, IntrCity RailYatri. Rathi is in the business of travel but cannot explore the country and the world as much as he would like. If and when things open up more, the Delhi-based Rathi wants to escape to a white sand beach and blue waters. An offsite with colleagues, too, is up there on his wishlist.
Excerpts from an email interaction:
If the coronavirus goes away or becomes easily manageable, which city would you like to travel to first and why?
I would love to visit Andaman and Nicobar and explore the deep and clear waters of the islands. Its white sandy beaches and evergreen forests make it a perfect place for a relaxing vacation. It has been on my wishlist for some time.
Which restaurant would you like to go to first and why?
Any restaurant which serves a sumptuous regional thali because while we can order other things at our doorstep, a luxurious thali is something that I would really like to enjoy in a good restaurant.
Which famous stranger would you like to invite home and why?
I have been curious and fascinated by the new avatar of Bill Gates as to what and how he did things differently during corona times. Some of the things he predicted came true. His knowledge about the supply chain for medicines and other things is impressive.
A public performance or event you would like to attend?
I’m longing for an off-site to a beautiful destination in India with my team. Guess it’s been a while since we did something of that sort.
Which group activity would you like to participate in?
I’m passionate about working with my team. I really miss being surrounded by my family-like team at the office. This has been on hold for quite some time now. So, this is one thing I am looking forward to participating in.
Which new skill would you like to learn?
More than a skill, I would like to continue the habit of remaining deeply involved with my son’s sports endeavours, something I could spend a lot of time on during the lockdown.
The first song that comes to mind when you think of a COVID-free world.
I am a fan of old Hindi songs. There is a Mohammad Rafi classic which goes, ‘Raat bhar kaa hai andhera, kiske roke ruka hai savera’.
Which bad habit will you work on eliminating in a world that is open again?
COVID-19 has taught us to keep things simple and live a minimalistic life. Hopefully, I will try to lead a similar lifestyle and urge others to do the same and be close to their family.
What will you do with your masks?
I hadn’t thought of it. But now that I have, I would like to frame them and show them to my grandchildren one day. I’d narrate to them the story of COVID times and how we lived through it. Probably, they can also take a few lessons from me.
What will your motto be for life after the pandemic?
Keep things simple, with a bare minimum of materialistic pleasures and continue to follow the good habits I formed during COVID.