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 wisdom with her father and spent time with Indian mystic Osho. She worked in travel and tourism, is a classically trained Indian dancer and now dedicates her life to healing and spiritual practices.
In honour of Mother’s Day in the UK, Chetna recalls her years of travel and the journeys that have made her who she is.
Believe it or not, I started [traveling] 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. I was four years old. I went with my mom, dad, a few friends and Osho! He started initiating people and the Sannyas movement began from here.
My father was a big influence in my travel life, which was passed on to both my children, as we all together visited many interesting places in India to begin with, and went abroad to some fascinating countries. The list is ongoing but some that strike my heart and mind I will mention here.
Our trip to Myanmar in Asia was an incredible and emotional one, as my father was born and brought up in Rangoon and had a rice business trading rice to India. Boat rides on the lake and rice fields and luscious mountains. Hot air balloon rides which the kids really enjoyed. Visits to monasteries and helping out in the kitchen there and sitting for chanting sessions with the monks were some great experiences.
Asia was always on our favourite list. But one that stands out for me was Tibet. Visiting Lhasa, Yamdrok lake, Shangri la, Dali, Lijiang and Chengdu. The tea plantations, Panda wildlife and temples monasteries, lakes mountains, various factories, 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 feeling of arriving home.
Now I come to the best! My birthplace, incredible India! A world of its own, vast, varied, colourful, wild, fragrant at the same time chaotic, crazy and not so clean in some places but it is Home to me, where I grew up and I have family connections and best childhood memories. And a place I took my children each year with pride to share its beauty and offerings. A land of temples, chai stalls, palaces, forts, busy cities and much more. My grandma lived on a huge farmhouse with cashew nuts trees, shikakai and Jamun growing. In the courtyard were fragrant champa, frangipani and mogra flowers. Kids often played Indian games like with marbles and cards with my mum and bedtime storytelling was their favourite from all. I still remember the fables my mum used to tell me and am so happy my children also got to hear them from my mother. They also had the pleasure of having a champi head oil massage by my mother’s healing hands.
My dad was a Nomad and I travelled the world with him and our stay would be 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 many islands too.
Lastly, I have saved my current travels of the last few years, 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. Few of them were also Ayurveda related and health and detox retreats. Some were more spiritual in the company of our dear friend and mentor Deepak Chopra, which included Israel, Dharamshala in India visiting HH Dalia Lama, Vatican City and lucky to have met the Pope and few more. Stays and visits to Ashrams and spiritual centres in India have been quite awakening for me.
There are many places I haven’t mentioned here and saved for another time. The journey continues and I have loved spending time with my children across the world and having great experiences.