Fol­low the gram’mer

Draw­ing from a re­cent Airbnb sur­vey that re­vealed so­cial me­dia to be a key driver for the In­dian trav­eller, four pop­u­lar city­based travel blog­gers re­veal their top off-beat In­sta­wor­thy lo­ca­tions

Mid Day - - The Guide - DALREEN RAMOS dalreen.ramos@mid-day.com Divyak­shi Gupta

THEY say a pic­ture is worth a thou­sand words. But it’s hard to tell whether those words are fact or fic­tion on so­cial me­dia. That be­ing said, it is easy to find com­fort in con­structed re­al­ity that is fu­elled by hash­tags and mea­sured by likes. So, you can very well sleep in a messy bed only to wake up next morn­ing, neatly or­gan­ise the best lux­ury prod­ucts you own, and click a #flat­lay. Bet­ter still, head out to a restau­rant and or­der food that looks great, even if it is per­fectly in­sipid.

The herd men­tal­ity fol­lows through wher­ever you go, as is ev­i­dent in a sur­vey con­ducted by Airbnb in late Septem­ber this year which re­vealed, “A stag­ger­ing 94 per cent of re­spon­dents con­sider so­cial me­dia when book­ing an ac­com­mo­da­tion. Whether it’s for trav­eller re­views, rec­om­men­da­tions or just pic­tures of the home, so­cial me­dia plays a large role in help­ing In­di­ans find the per­fect ac­com­mo­da­tion.” So, we in­vite four travel blog­gers from Mum­bai — who don’t just do it for the ‘gram’, but still churn out In­sta-wor­thy pic­tures at off­beat lo­ca­tions. “I’m not the back­packer variety. I won’t be the one to post a pic­ture of my­self drink­ing by a beach in Goa,” says Meghna Giro­htra, 37, founder of Mum­bai In­sta­gram­mers. “I go through var­i­ous travel blogs. In­sta­gram does help you to get a fair idea of the place but I wouldn’t plan a trip around it. I also check out the geo tag to see what lo­cals are post­ing about a place, but you have to fil­ter through so many self­ies,” she laments.

MY IN­STA PICKS: Of late, Giro­htra has been on trips to Mandwa and Va­sai that she feels ac­count for in­ter­est­ing land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy. “Va­sai ac­tu­ally re­sem­bles Goa with the Bas­sein fort and the beach. The Mandwa port is also an in­ter­est­ing place for click­ing pic­tures by the con­tain­ers.”

FOL­LOW HER WORK: @megh­na­giro­htra The type of pic­tures you post on In­sta­gram are of­ten in ac­cor­dance with a trend­ing hash­tag. But Divyashi Gupta, 29, was on­board with the idea, way be­fore the hash­tag game. She had a strange fas­ci­na­tion for doors. “It later be­came a trend for peo­ple to click pic­tures by them, and soon they started tag­ging me in it. But the pic­tures you see now are so heav­ily pho­to­shopped; they’re sell­ing some­thing that doesn’t ex­ist,” she says.

MY IN­STA PICKS: “In Ra­jasthan, I went beyond the J’s and vis­ited Al­war and Deeg that are great for pho­tograph­ing colour. Sim­i­larly, Myan­mar isn’t usu­ally on bucket lists, but it has this rus­tic vibe. Ba­gan (in Man­dalay), for in­stance, doesn’t have a sin­gle con­crete build­ing. I also like Obidos, a small town in Por­tu­gal where you can lit­er­ally find props around, such as a cy­cle with flowers to pose with.”

FOL­LOW HER WORK: @di­vsigupta

‘...the pic­tures you see now [on In­sta­gram] are so heav­ily pho­to­shopped; they’re sell­ing some­thing that doesn’t ex­ist’ Divyak­shi Gupta

Inle Lake, Myan­mar

Bas­sein Fort, Va­sai

Meghna Giro­htra

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