Chetna’s 55 years of incredible journeys
Chetna Mehta is the mother of Fable & Mane’s founders, Akash & Nikita Mehta. A creative yogi and dynamic meditation expert, she grew up in India surrounded by the wondrous wisdom of her father and homeland. She worked in travel and tourism, is a classically trained Indian dancer and now dedicates her life to healing and spiritual practices.
In honor of International Women’s Day, Chetna recalls her years of travel and the journeys that have made her who she is:
Believe it or not, I started [travelling] very early, as my father was a keen traveller and loved to explore the country and the people and food! My first ever holiday was to a hill station named Manali in Jammu Kashmir.
My father was a big influence in my travel life, which was passed on to both my children, as we visited many interesting places in India together and went abroad to some fascinating countries. The list is ongoing, and for the ones that strike my heart and mind the most, read on…
Our trip to Myanmar in Asia was an incredible and emotional experience, as my father was born and brought up in Rangoon and had a business trading rice to India. Some of my favourite memories include boat rides on the lake with a view of rice fields and luscious mountains; hot air balloon rides which the kids really enjoyed; visits to monasteries and helping out in the kitchen, and sitting for chanting sessions with the monks.
Asia was always on our favorite list, but one that stands out for me was Tibet and China. Visiting Lhasa, Yamdrok Lake, Shangri-La City, Dali, Lijiang and Chengdu. The tea plantations, panda wildlife temples, monasteries, lakes, mountains, various factories and craftsmanship was all such an incredible experience for us. For me, Tibet has a special place as I was born there in one of my past lives. The minute I landed I felt a connection and a feeling of arriving home.
Now I come to the best! My birthplace - incredible India! A world of its own; vast, varied, colorful, wild and fragrant, but at the same time; chaotic, crazy (and not so clean in some places), but it is home to me. It’s where I grew up, have family connections and the best childhood memories. I took my children back to India each year with pride to share in its beauty and offerings. A land of temples, chai stalls, palaces, forts, busy cities and much more. My grandma lived in a huge farmhouse with cashew nut trees, shikakai and jamun growing. In the courtyard were fragrant champa, frangipani and mogra flowers. Kids often played Indian games such as marbles and cards, and bedtime storytelling with my mum was their favorite of all. I still remember the magical fables my mom told me, and I’m so happy my children also got to hear them from my mother. They also had the pleasure of having a champi (Indian hair oil massage) with my mother’s healing hands.
My father was a nomad and I travelled the world with him; we’d stay at his friends’ homes and frequent meditation evenings and gatherings. We also went on a few cruises and had a chance to visit the highlights of Europe and its many islands.
I’m saving my most recent travels as stories for another time, as I have had time and peace of mind, which has led me to experience and enjoy several meditation and yoga retreats around the world. A few of them were Ayurveda-related or health and detox retreats, some were stays and visits to Ashrams and spiritual centers in India, which were quite awakening for me. Others were more spiritual (in the company of our dear friend and mentor Deepak Chopra), which included Israel, a visit to HH Dalai Lama in Dharamshala, the Vatican City, where I was lucky to have met the Pope, and a few more.
My journey continues and I cherish the time spent with my children across the world and having great experiences together.
With Love, Chetna