Sushma founded Yours Truly India as a way of sharing her love for her city of Bangalore, where she was born and raised, with guests in the city. Introducing them to sights, smells and sounds of the bustling city, and getting beneath the soul of India’s IT capital. Here are her 15 Questions in 5 Minutes:
1. Who you are (naturally!)
A dreamer, an emotional human being, a nature lover and always hungry for travel!
2. What inspired you to create your business?
Monotony of corporate life coupled with ignorance about your own city, to showcase to outsiders. The idea was born with friends/family (outside of India) asking for things to do in my city and all i would pin point was touristy places, when in fact they wanted to explore local experiences instead. This got me to researching and rediscovering my own city. Yours Truly India was born as a result.
3. An anecdote which epitomizes your India?
The warmth of the people
Very often i take my guests on walks to market places which are very local and flower & fruit markets being the most visited. Even though we have no intentions of purchasing anything, sometimes we would receive a flower or fruit from the vendors without expecting anything back from us!
On another visit to a local neighborhood, we were admiring an old house when the owner of that place stepped outside and asked if we needed anything. After explaining that we were just passing through the street and stopped to see the house from outside, he wholeheartedly welcomed us in, showed us around and even had his wife make us some coffee!
While visiting a temple once, we got to witness a wedding ceremony happening inside of the premises. The guests wanted to take pictures with the couple. Not only as strangers they got to do it, but also got invited to attend the rest of the celebrations and have lunch with the other guests.
India welcomes people with open arms for those who are willing to be a part of it.
4. One thing that you can’t live without?
Coffee! And it has to be really good filter coffee!!
5. One thing that you hate?
Honking on the roads and littering.
6. If you could change one thing about India what would it be?
Make India green again.
7. Who is your greatest inspiration?
I can’t pin point any one person, it wouldn’t be fair. My real life hero’s are people close to me like my Mom, dad, sister, Best friend, Mom-in-Law, Father-in-Law and my husband)
They all have qualities that inspire – selflessness, sacrifice, patience, strength, forgiveness, independence and commitment.
8. What is your favourite quote?
The happiness of life is made up of little things – a smile, a hug, a moment of shared laughter..
9. I have noticed huge changes in India over the last few years but what is the biggest change you have noticed in India over the last 10 years?
Penetration of Technology, specially mobile phones and internet. Consumerism.
10. What do you think are the biggest challenges India faces over the next ten years?
Increasing population, decreasing agricultural lands, decreasing forest areas, over congestion of cities.
11. Which is the destination at the top of your bucket list?
12. What is the one place you visited that you have NO desire to return to?
Macau. Not that I hate gambling, but the city seemed lifeless outside of the casinos.
13. Book or Movie?
Used to be books, now Movies
14. Just for fun! I am doing a survey to find India’s most popular breakfast, what is yours?
Upma! A typical south Indian breakfast, spiced porridge made from semolina and veggies. I can have it everyday and not get bored of it!
15. In retrospect, what is the one thing you wish you could have told your 20 year-old self?
That it is ok to fail in something, lose something. You will eventually move past both and be stronger person.