What does an overachiever do on weekends, you ask? Apparently, nothing.
He grabs a tub of caramel popcorn and plonks down on the couch to watch cricket.
This is Rajiv Dingra’s life away from his work desk. Before you proceed to read, we recommend you grab yourself a tub of caramel popcorn and glass of cutting chai.
Dingra, 32, in his weekday avatar is the Founder and CEO of WAT Consult, a leading digital agency headquartered in Mumbai.
Ask him what he does to unwind and pat comes the reply: eat caramel popcorn and watch cricket. Probe a little further and the caramel popcorn lover reveals that he also spends a lot of time sweating it out at the gym on weekends. Puzzled at the contradictory weekend lifestyle, we wonder how the gymming enthusiast also indulges in caramel popcorn. “I cheat!”
Dingra signed up for hard core gymming less than a year ago and has already lost 17 kilos. He signed up for it because his self-perception was not matching what he saw in the mirror. “You look at yourself and think I am like Sylvester Stallone, but damn I don’t look like him anymore.” Dingra is now on something similar to a Paleo diet where he eats only proteins (read: chicken) and fats like butter and ghee.
The one reason Dingra is not complaining about his diet and the daily gymming session is because he still gets to eat his go to food—chicken. While this chicken lover is no master chef, he can prepare fried eggs to ensure he does not stay hungry. But he does make the best cutting-chai, he says. Dingra loves his milk tea, especially the ‘dum-chai’ at Chai Point. What is it that makes him a tea lover par excellence? Thank you for asking, we have the answer for you.
There are tea lovers, and then there is Dingra. The self-proclaimed tea aficionado missed a flight because he was lost in a steaming cup of dum-chai at the Mumbai airport. Did he take the next flight out? No. He was all caught up after a con-call with those who made it to the meeting.
Apart from chicken, chai and caramel popcorn, what Dingra truly enjoys is adventure travel. Behind his desk is a 20-sided representation of the globe with red pins highlighting cities to which he has travelled. As he picks it up, he realises that he has not inserted a pin on Vancouver, his latest trip abroad.
Dingra went on his first international vacation, to Dubai, about ten years ago and has since been going on at least one foreign vacation every year. In addition, he also travels extensively on work and makes the most of every trip. He believes in unwinding completely during his vacations as opposed to committing himself to strenuous activities that will leave him exhausted.
Ask Dingra about his favourite cities and out come rolling the names of all beach destinations: Cape Town, Rio Di Janeiro, Miami, Maldives and Gold Coast. In Europe, he loves to travel to Amsterdam and could even live there, he says.
A complete adventure lover, Dingra has flown a plane, gone scuba diving in six locations, tried his hand at sky diving and hand gliding, driven a Ferrari and a Lamborghini on a race circuit and trained with a pilot to fly a helicopter in New York.
With all this travel, one hopes Dingra has experimented with food. But his love for chicken is evident once again—he spent five days in Turkey eating only chicken doners (like chicken shawarma). Now it is easy to guess the one word Dingra ensures he knows in a foreign language: chicken! The most outrageous food he has had was chocolate crickets in Canada. How was it? “Crispy.”
Even though Dingra’s experiences are wildly crazy, he does not record them. Ask him for a picture or a video and the response mostly is that he shared it on Snapchat. Poof! All memories wiped clean. He prefers not to click photos because “if you have photos then you can look back at them and you may not go to the same place again.” Does he have any other form of making memories? “No, I don’t want to remember, I want to relive those experiences.”
The only continent Dingra has not travelled to is Antarctica, but that’s nothing to fret about since he has already found out about a cruise that goes to that continent. For now, he is trying to finalise where he will travel to for New Year’s. Will it be New Zealand, Philippines or Puerto Rico? Where ever it be, we wish him more adventure and exciting times.