Interview conducted by Donald Pereira, Editor – www.Budkulo.com
Travelling and Toursim are the most important aspects of modern era. World is filled with travellers. You can’t imagine this world without Travelling and Tourism. Travellers are the main sourse of income to many & many!
As you know this person, Mr. Max Rasquinha, a Mangalorean cum universal man, who is known to his family and friends as an enthusiastic human being, whom I know since few years, was impressed to know his endavours. While he is in the town, I happened to meet him, and, yes, as a natural practice of asking, I sat in front of him to get to know, by asking several questions on a particular topic – travelling – which is the matter most passionate to both of us!
Max Rasquinha is a visioner, dreamer, fond lover, passionate person. He loves his wife, family, people, home town, mother tongue and mother land. He is an Indian always. He spreads love of Indianism across the globe. A true Ambasseder of Indianism. Yes, of course, he is a class human being and a humanitarian.
In an quick encounter, face to face, he explored himself honestly, frankly and spontaneously, to an equal enthusiastic person. Thus, this may be called as a friendly Interview.
But, he is a highly professional, yet, a maximum human being. Cherished to speak to him. I hope our readers also enjoy, as if they themselves conversating with him.
Donald: Dear Max sir, now, at 80, you are still young and energetic, as ever. You keep travelling all over the world. You are a best traveller. You have recorded all that in your Coffee Table Book. Tell me sir, what you have found by visiting places and travelling?
Max Rasquinha: You get wisdom from travelling. I feel it’s my fortune, that, I have travelled in 100 countries and visited 300 cities. I have witnessed way of living, life style, culture of different people. You don’t get this wisdom just by reading a book. Neither it is got by going to college, nor it is found from University study. We (me and my wife) always keep busy in tours. Visiting different places & meeting various people is a wonderful experience.
Donald: Why do you think travelling is important?
Max: India is a large country, we have different languages, culture & religions here. If you visit other countries, you will find how people live there. Small or a big country, to watch and know how people live, their economic condition, education, culture etc is a wonderful experience. You can realise all these things. You can understand how people live, achieve and get progress in other countries. Political issues are everywhere. But you can know how some countries have developed so much.
Weather also matters. Weather and climate is different in different places, zones. Weather keeps changing. It is in God’s hands. You find cold weather in western countries, particularly in Europe. Here in India, during rainy days, it floods everywhere. But in summer we face scarcity of water. But in Europe, water is available whole year. Those places are such cold, snow falls most of the time. Snow becomes ice, and when sun shines, ice melts and flows as water. Water flowing in rivers there is very clean and pure, you can drink it directly. But it is extremely difficult for us to live in such cold climate. You may get rheumatic, suffer badly and may not live longer. Ours is tropical climate. We are having pollution because of over population.
Donald: Tourism is a big industry. It helps to progress. What is essential to become a tourism hub?
Max: Yes, tourism is a big industry in the world. For this, first we need to keep our places clean. Next comes, infrastructures, organisation, communication. Everything need to in order and systematic. Simply constructing workshops, clubs, religious temples together is not good. You find in America, everything is systematic and planned. They are so organised, they have different locations for different purposes. There you find industries, schools, hospitals, churches etc in separate places. Putting everything together becomes mess and it is a bad idea.
Donald: What difference you find in travelling in India & western countries?
Max: You need to have sufficient money for travelling. While we find too rush everywhere in India, in western countries there is no such chaos. If found rush anywhere, they study it and immediately make additional arrangements. They put extra buses, trains, flights. The roads are too good and large. In India, population keeps growing, hence we don’t get seats in buses, trains and flights. In next 30 years, our population may grow to 2 Billions. We need to think and act now itself to provide clean water to drink and good food for them.
Donald: You have toured across globe. You have great love to your birth place, Mangalore. What is the scope for Mangalore to become an important tourism hub?
Max: Mangalore can become main tourism hub. We have lot of scope and possibilities towards that. Our culture is beautiful. People belonging to all religions live with peace and harmony here. That is most wonderful thing. Mangalore is selected as smart city, hence, we can see a great progress in coming years. When I was born, there was no airport in Mangalore, no proper sea port, railway station and bus stations. Now everything is there. We have now good hospitals, colleges, universities, libraries, restaurants and roads. Primary attention should be given to cleanliness. Systematic infrastructures also too important. Proper vision and planning is required. Our sea port, airport and railway stations are standing beautiful. Mangalore airport manages 60 flights a week. Many cruise ships are arriving at Mangalore Port bringing thousands of foreign tourists.
Donald: We find here lots of administrative disorders. No proper planning. Still we are struggling to get systematic basic infrastructures. We are lacking…
Max: Lacking is there Donald, but progress is also there. We have to take it in a positive attitude. It is not right to criticise always, particularly our leaders. We have so many experts. We need to encourage them, we have to support and guide them. We need to tell them in a polite way. Simply alleging with baseless corruption charges is no right. Our people have education, ideas. They live in harmony. Mutual cooperation is essential. If we go ahead in constructive way, certainly we will see progress soon.
Donald: What are your special experiences in your travelling life?
Max: In tourism, various people have different liking. Some like restaurants, few like night clubs, social life etc. I like to observe organised arrangements of different cities, museums, opera houses, social theaters, transportation, communication, education. I also find it interesting to observe people’s behavior, discipline, character. It is a wonderful experience of watching people. We have intelligent people, but our organisation is not up to the mark. In Europe, America, Japan, China, Brazil etc, their organising standard is of very high standards.
Donald: Any particular observations?
Max: There are a lot. I have travelled immensely. Have lots of experiences, incidents, things in mind. But one thing I always remember is, where ever you go, whatever beautiful place you see, but ultimately, your hometown is the most loving place. No matter how happy you are or how many difficulties you face, there is no substitute for your home town. Home land is home land. That’s why they say ‘Home sweet home’. I was given citizenship by Britain, USA & Canada, but I requested them to retain my Indian citizenship. I have visited India from abroad hundreds of times in last 60 plus years, they have all that records. I come here only because of love. There is nothing except my love to my people, culture and patriotic nature. That’s it. Remember Donald, with a straight forward, honest & humble life, you will never be a loser. You will always win.
Donald: Which is your most favorite place?
Max: My mother too had asked this question to me many years ago. While we were chatting sitting on the steps of our house, she asked me, ‘Dear son, you have travelled across the world, which place you liked most?’ I replied to here, ‘Will you believe what I say?’, she said ‘Yes’. ‘Mother, wherever you go, which ever city you visit, see any wonderful palace, for me my city Mangalore is best’ was my answer. Today, after 25-30 years, I repeat the same, my place is my most loving place. Your people, your family, your friends are your treasure. Don’t leave it, protect it, preserve it and appreciate it.
Donald: Long tours need lot of time. How do you spend time?
Max: No problem. While travelling we love to read. We carry books, magazines. We plan our tours systematically according to our budget. We don’t spend lavishly. We prefer simple food and staying. We enjoy our tours.
Donald: In foreign countries, they take care of historical constructions & things and preserve them passionately, carefully. Such places have become tourism hubs and yield them huge revenue. But we are way behind in this regard, right?
Max: Yes, I have observed it Donald. One thing we should remember that, India was under British rule for 300 years. We got independence due to a lot of struggle & sacrifices. 71 years is a small period. In these years what India has achieved and done is a marvelous job. In 1947 we had 300 million people, today it has crossed 1.2 Billion. Whatever problems we may have, our democracy, parliamentary system, secular values are so strong, we must appreciate it. We need to realise how was our position and situation when we got independence. From such background our nation has become highly strong and developed to this height.
We are having exceptional democratic values. Our country is so beautiful. Our nature, rivers, mountains are part of our culture. Different religions, diversity is our culture.
Donald: You have great love and passion towards your home tome, mother tongue and people. Konkani’s legend singer, musician Wilfy Rebimbus had worked in your coffee estate. Can you shed some light on that?
Max: It was a turning point in his life. Everybody has a turning point and junction in life. Wilfy found a junction of his life then, I welcomed him. He realised the peace, satisfaction and motivation to work in the plantation. He had exceptional talents. He was hopeful he will come up in life. He realised how much orderliness & discipline is important to be successful in life, and he adopted them. After one year, he said he will return to Mangalore. I appreciated his work, honored him. He reached Mangalore. He had extreme love & possessed talent towards music. Along with his wife Meena, he worked in music field, which was his dream. He reached heights. His entire family also assisted him in his musical journey. Their contribution to our community is immense. He and his family is honour to our society. His songs, lyrics and music are of high class, their dedication and togetherness is worth praising.
Yes, Wilfy was mingling with people, workers and he was observing everything. Ours is plantation of 40 acres. Along with beautiful flower gardens, house, grotto there were many animals (chickens, goats, cows, birds etc). Lot of workers were there. He learned necessary things, became supervisor. He was given a separate residence. Finally he chose music as his life and future.
Donald: You read a lot, right?
Max: Yes. We should not waste time, always. If you don’t have any work to do, keep the books ready and read. Whenever it may be, by reading you get satisfaction. By reading, any kind of book, firstly, your time is occupied, then, you don’t get any bad thoughts in mind. My wife also reads a lot. Her interests and mine are different. We exchange our books. We get lot of benefits from reading. Mainly, we can utilise our time well. It’s not good wasting time on useless thoughts. You get knowledge, wisdom from reading.
But the wisdom you get from travelling and by visiting places, meeting people is really fantastic. It is superior than just reading. The wisdom you avail from your own efforts, self experience has no match, it is excellent.
Donald: You started Toast Masters Club in Mangalore. What was your vision?
Max: Toast Masters is a great initiative. People think members in TM just party and enjoy. It’s not so. It is a movement. Lions Club, Rotary Club and Toast Masters Club are the three movements started in United States of America. These are not just the clubs where people party. These are the movements which showed and spread Americanism to the world. I keep telling my American friends, that, your these 3 movements are really fantastic. Under the theme ‘Giving you goodwill without strings attached’ they work. One more movement, Kiwanis Club is also there. Catholics have ‘Knights of Columbus’ movement. I am it’s member since 30 years. I am planning to bring it, too, here.
Toast Masters Club gives importance to communication and leadership. We want to communicate efficiently and create leadership. Through communication and leaders, we create charity and education. We share our knowledge, friendship and leadership with other people with no strings attached. No obligations, and, its all free. I have been in Toast Masters since 50 years, in 6 countries and 7 cities. You enjoy leadership and communication skills through friendship.
Donald: How are TM Clubs in Mangalore functioning?
Max: Very good. Proud of Mangalore. We have 6 different clubs here, each one are doing better than the other. We had a session of Mangalore Port Town TM Club, here in my house. Such a professional programme.
Donald: Please tell about your book I’ll Cry Tomorrow book.
Max: This book (2 parts, around 900 pages) is my contribution of my life to my wife. To show to her, what is love is all about, what is recognition. We are been married for 55 years, ours is very loving life. We have supported each other, understood each others difficulties, lived simply. Have done charity to people with our savings. I have put my experience of life, travelling, career etc in this Coffee Table Book. I have put my thoughts in it. I don’t need to explain about me separately, my books say everything. I have given my book set free of cost. I say to readers, enjoy reading, I welcome feedback. Enjoy life, be positive always.
I have second project of bringing out a documentary movie. Process is on in this regard, work is going on.
Donald: You were away from Mangalore since more than 60 years (except intervals). What comes to your mind about Mangalore and what is the secret you becoming so attached and emotional on your hometown?
Max: You must appreciate your humble beginning. Then everything becomes better. Our life was so ordinary and humble, that, I was number 8 in my family. My wife was 10th in her family. Big family, humble people, simple occupation. Our parents gave us food, shelter, dress and education. How they managed? Is it possible to do same, now, in that income? Now when we remember the life we were given, it is evident how generous God was towards us. God’s kindness is unimaginable. So long as we believe in him, everything is OK. We should appreciate everybody’s goodness, specially of your family.
Donald: What is your message to our society, particularly our readers?
Max: As long as there is unity and diversity, we shall not fail. We always win. Let the unity prevail. Because unity will bring happiness, happiness brings prosperity. Prosperity, happiness and unity bring God’s blessings. Let’s enjoy it. Thank you.