Recently a friend went for a vacation to a wildlife sanctuary and stayed in a tent, for which she shelled out Rs 65,000 a night.
Sixty-five thousand bucks per diem for the privilege of living in a portable shelter associated with rough-and-ready army field exercises, nomads, and homeless refugees? This is revenge tourism with a vengeance, the vengeance coming in the form of the bill presented to the visitor which resembles the daily hisaab submitted by the head chef employed by a billionaire.
However, I got to learn that the tent my friend stayed in was not of the ordinary, run-of-the-military variety but belonged to the super-deluxe ‘glamping’ category.
Glamping is a portmanteau word and stands for ‘glamorous camping’, and the tents employed for the purpose are of the 7-star variety, complete with sofas, carpets, maharaja-size beds, and en suite loos with hot and cold water that is not only running but sprinting like Milkha Singh in his heyday.
The idea behind glamping is to give a new twist to tourism, enabling well-heeled travellers with a luxury experience in a setting not normally associated with opulence.
A similar concept is that of high-end resorts disguised as ‘villages’ in which designer thatched huts, equipped with all imaginable mod cons, ensure that guests enjoy rural rusticity in right royal comfort.
Visitors to Rio are taken on sightseeing tours of the favelas, or shanty towns, which dot the hill slopes that surround the city.
India has more, and slummier, slums than Brazil, and our tour operators could go one better than their Brazilian counterparts and offer elegantly furnished des res dwellings in Delhi’s jhuggi-jhopris, or in Mumbai’s Dharavi, said to be one of the biggest slums in Asia, and help popularise ‘glumming’, or glamour slumming, on the lines of glamping.
More adventuresome experience-seekers might be induced to try out the accommodation provided by a famous government-run guest house renowned for the red-carpet welcome it has extended to many notable personalities.
And who better qualified to be Brand Ambassadors and inaugurate ‘glamprisonment’, or glamour imprisonment, in Tihar jail than Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi?
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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published 2022-01-12 03:35:33