Different Dialogues : Extended & Enlarged Version of Mr. Vijay Prabhu's Interview

Extended & Enlarged Version of Mr. Vijay Prabhu’s interview, Founder/Owner/Developer of Littlearth Group, Coonoor, India – An eco-friendly, heritage-proud chain of boutique hotels.
Educational background: B.C. B.A. L.L.B. from University Law College, Bangalore (India).

Q 1. In your view, what is most important in life? Accordingly, name three aspects, important in life.
A. In my view a balance is most important in life. Whether it is family or business, or personal space. The same should be balanced and this will help out in easing the day to day pressures.

Q 2. If you were not doing what you are doing now, what would you be doing?
A. My belief is that one can be in any situation or a job and whether he likes it, or is happy in it or not, is solely dependent on him. Due to this belief, I don't have anything particular that I would like to do – if I am not doing what I am doing now. I am sure whatever I would do, I would go into it positively.

Q 3. What motivates you to achieve your goal?
A. Failure – It's a word that is not there in my dictionary. I think this is what motivates me to achieve my goals.

Q 4. How do you handle stress and pressure?
A. When the going gets tough, the tough go fishing. I try to find the reason for the stress and pressure and try to sort that out.

Q 5. Which of your qualities would you want to pass down to your children?
A. I would like my kids to treat every human being as a human being – irrespective of the status or position they have in society. Bottom line is, they should be humane.

Q 6. Who is your favourite author? Which book of your favourite author have you enjoyed the best?
A. I enjoy Archie comics. I used to read novels but I prefer Archie comics.

Q 7. What are you pursuing currently, by the way of a light hobby, or by the way of a serious goal?
A. Currently I am quite hooked on Fishing. I like to go fishing because it gives me a lot of personal time and helps me plan out my life better.

Q 8. In the last one year, is your particular goal advancing? Which is that goal / dream?
A. Yes, my goal has been advancing. My goal for the last one year has been to get systems and responsibility in my setup. That goal has been advancing slowly but surely.

Recap of the conversation with Mr. Vijay Prabhu, Founder/Owner/Developer of Littlearth Group, Coonoor, India – An eco-friendly, heritage-proud chain of boutique hotels, which appeared in the month of April 2011.

The month was mid-March. At 6,700 ft. above sea-level – in the bracing weather of the Nilgiri Hills (India), in Avalanche region, I was having an absorbing dialogue with Vijay Prabhu. Later on, his wife Meeta also joined us. During the entire session, I was strongly making up my mind to learn that life was also about slowing down to enjoy things that are purely linked with the natural pristine environment and its uniquely charming forces. Nothing in the world could have sparked more than stunning beauty surrounding us as we settled down to relish the views. The open blue afternoon sky showed a veil of descending grey mist on the crown of the eastward hills. The terraced slopes right in front of us displaying rows of cultivated seasonal vegetables and seedlings. Snow-white geese were prominently visible on those steps watching a couple of men tending to the cultivated spaces. On a sprawling acreage of around 120 acres, I was enjoying the peace and prosperity of Destiny Farmstay.

For my family and me, it was a 35 km car’s ride from Coonoor that by a simple chance of a highly-recommended-destination-experience brought us to Destiny Farmstay. In the end, at the point where the kutcha – untarred forest’s road began, we left our car to board a much sturdier vehicle to take the challenge of a jolty ride – certainly not meant for the faintly! But once we had reached Destiny Farmstay, the lunch-menu lived up to its word.

The circumstances and the model upon which Destiny Farmstay has been developed requires an explanation. The story began from 1999 when a log cabin nestled in the picturesque Avalanche came into Vijay Prabhu’s life. He named the log cabin, Sundance, and made it a secluded haven spending time over there after a frequent trek or a fishing weekend. Sundance became the seat to inspire him to acquire land on the nearby rolling hills. This is how Destiny Farmstay was born. The duo wife-husband team of Meeta and Vijay Prabhu go back to the journey which they began together more than six years back. Prior to that, both might have never thought that they would not pursue what they were trained to pursue! Meeta is an Electronic Engineer and Vijay groomed himself in dealing with matters of law. Though he does Chamber Practice in Civil Litigation – his heart is sufficiently committed in offering holiday-experiences to cross-sections of society. School children derive hands-on knowledge on varied aspects of horticulture; they get the advantage and joy of actually sowing seeds, watering and plucking the produce of the soil. Experts guide the children in all their activities and by choice students can go trekking, or valley-crossing. When we took a brisk stroll towards the horse stables, a handsome horse from the Chetak lineage was waiting to take one of the guests for a trot. A little ahead of the stable, it was one more view not to be missed. We were looking down at the glasslike lake known as a part of the Avalanche Dam.

As this goes into print – the inauguration of a SPA will be on the mind of Vijay Prabhu. He told me that Destiny Farmstay is popular with the Corporate world who bring in staff members for leadership and other out-bound-training programmes.

And did I tell you about the rabbits we stroked, the cows we patted while they waited to be milked! Did I mention the strawberries and the carnation flowers coming up regularly with the sun and breeze! And yes… how about the rock climbing, rappelling (coming down the rocks)! Or simply sitting to hear the birds twitter in verse.

Q 1. What has been the turning point of your life?
A. The turning point of my life was when I realized that corruption in India has not even spared the common man and that if you wanted to lead a life in India one would have to be a part of the system.

Q 2. If you could go back in time, what would you want to do?

A. There is nothing I would have wanted to change as I feel that we all get what we are destined to get or do. One can be happy Living in New York or can curse at being in New York. Similarly one can be happy with what one is doing or not. I choose to be happy.

Q 3. What are your future dreams?
A. I intend to continue the growth of the Littlearth Group in the hospitality, agriculture and dairy sectors. I also want to set up and old age home as well as an orphanage in the same premises, as I feel that the older people miss the love of the little ones and the little ones miss the love and warmth of the elders. Therefore by keeping them together I feel that both the old age residents as well as the orphans would be able to satisfy each others needs.

Geeta Chhabra

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