Muthu’s new love was travel. The different sights, sounds, smells(he imagined these), the language,attire and of course, food, allexcited him. Add to this a dash of natureor history and it was a complete joy ride.Every place had its own story to tell. He wasas enchanted by historical monuments ashe was with modern marvels. It intriguedhim to think how people travelled inthe yesteryears* and what sports theyindulged in. He sometimes wished he wasVasco da Gama or Marco Polo, discoveringnew lands.
While his family ensured annualvacations to nearby temple towns, hillstations and sea side locations, his all time favourite holiday had been the oneto Mumbai. Travel books, the atlas, citymap books and travel shows on televisionquenched his thirst for more.
As he was trudging back home fromschool one day, he saw a van with a dishantenna on it. The van had ‘NMTV TravelTimes’ written on it in red, bold letters.Muthu was thrilled to spot his favouritetravel channel right here in his hometown. He bounded up to the van and found the two uncles who ate in all the famous places ranging from roadside stalls to plushexpensive restaurants. He spoke to the van driver and figured that they were doing aspecial on hill stations in South India.
The driver asked him to wait till the shotwas done and then took him to the hosts.Muthu mustered courage and said, "I am abig fan of your channel and your show too.I think I will be a travel host one day.
"They smiled at him and asked, "Wouldyou like to give it a try right now? It will benice to have a young man’s perspective on the hill stations in Tamil Nadu."
"But I am not well dressed..." Muthubegan. "Oh , look at us and you know there is a certain charm to ruffl ed hair and acareless look, huh?" they said.
Who was he to argue with them?Muthu grabbed his chance and spoke for what seemed like ten minutes on Yercaud,its beauty, its eateries, its people, his school,the tree in his school and also compared it with Kodaikanal and Ooty the other two hill stations he had been to.
He did not notice the amused looks on the hosts’ faces and gratefully accepted the capwith the channel logo that they presented him with. The producer took his contact details and promised to let him know when the show went on air.