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CRAFT YOUR JOURNEY
Cover-Image-3
DIALOGUE

IN CONVERSATION
WITH CEREAL

Shooting very early in the morning each day helped convey the kind of India we wanted to present – bathed in golden, ethereal light; as the city was waking up. The hustle and bustle is there, but so is the peace you find amidst that.

Early this year, kamalan collaborated with the UK-based travel and lifestyle magazine Cereal to produce a journey for them in North India. Cereal is a beautifully produced bi-annual print magazine, known globally for its own form of minimal aesthetics. It was a unique experience for us to craft a journey based on their specific interests and ideas, and in turn, to see India from their perspective. While the journey has been recreated in Cereal’s latest issue, we had a conversation with Rosa Park, editor of the magazine, about her ideas of travel and experiences in India, among other things.
Edited excerpts:

 

What was the moment when you were really sure that you wanted to start a travel magazine? What were some of the initial challenges?
Cereal is a result of our passion for travel, print and magazine editorial. Both Rich and I are avid travellers and have moved around growing up, so travel was a natural subject matter for us to focus on. We knew we wanted to start Cereal when we realised there wasn’t any travel magazine in the market that addressed our preferred way and style of travelling; one that spoke to our generation. I think once we had that moment, we knew we had to start our own title.

The initial challenges are the same ones facing us today – trying to have our magazine stand out and heard in a very crowded market. I think every magazine in existence today struggles with this because there is just so much noise. So how do you break through that? With each issue, we explore and we give it our best shot.

 

Cereal is well-known for its absolutely unique minimal aesthetics and India can be visually overwhelming at times. In this context, how did India look when it was seen through Cereal’s lens?
We knew that capturing India in a Cereal perspective would be an interesting challenge, and one we were well up for. India is often presented in a certain way – very vibrant and very busy – and we wanted to share the scenery with our readership in a way we were comfortable with. We don’t want to misrepresent by any means, but there is always a fresh way to look at a familiar subject, and we went with that approach.

Shooting very early in the morning each day helped convey the kind of India we wanted to present – bathed in golden, ethereal light; as the city was waking up. The hustle and bustle is there, but so is the peace you find amidst that.

 

What are some of the specific experiences that you found most inspiring or moving during this trip?
I was floored by the architecture. Some of the palaces and forts we visited were just wow. Traditional Indian architecture has a way of incorporating minute details and luxurious flourishes with elegance. There is a lot going on visually, but it never feels too over the top; it works in the context it lives in. I have these images in my head now forever.

 

Any particular architecture you really liked?
Jaipur is the best place for architecture, in our opinion. City Palace and Amer Fort are incredible, and it’s easy to see why they are so iconic and famous.

 

Tell us something about the souvenirs you took back from India
We brought back textiles, jewellery and books. They contribute to the multicultural nature of our home

 

What would your next Indian itinerary include?
We are sad to have missed Udaipur so would definitely like to come back for that. We would also love to explore more of the country up north, bordering Bhutan.

 

You have moved around a lot before you settled down in Bath and now you travel constantly for your work. In one of your interviews, you had mentioned that you feel most at ease when you are on the road. How has your travel experience evolved over the years?
When I said I feel most at ease when I am on the road, I meant that being on the road is a feeling that is most familiar to me. It’s something that I have been doing my whole life. I am used to it. However, I do yearn to be home a bit more these days; while travelling is wonderful, as I get older, I do wish to put down my roots more. We’ll see how the next several years go

 

Do you have a different way of looking at places when you travel for work vis-à-vis personal travels? Or do they tend to overlap?
We haven’t actually travelled for personal reasons in a very long time, so it’s hard to say. I suppose when we are travelling for work, you are there with a story in mind so the focus is singular. When travelling for personal reasons, it’s a bit more laidback and the city reveals itself to you more slowly.

 

Apart from India, what have been some of the other interesting journeys that the Cereal team has done so far this year?
We really loved our trip to Vienna – an old world European city with a lot of charm. And the opposite of Rajasthan in many ways! We also enjoyed our trip to Southern California. Palm Springs is a favourite for its mid century architecture and dry heat.

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