Now a trip to Russia for globetrotting tea-seller couple

Mohana and Vijayan. File   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

For the ones who haven't yet heard about the couple Vijayan and Mohana, the banner in front of their unassuming coffee shop next to the Salim Rajan Road in Gandhi Nagar may appear intriguing

It declares that the shop will remain closed from October 21 to 28 as the couple will be away on a trip to Russia.

But it hardly evokes any curiosity among the locals as they know that its just another foreign trip for the globetrotting tea-seller couple who has visited 25 foreign countries across six continents in the past 14 years.

"We will be visiting Moscow and St. Petersburg in the week-long visit. Russia is a country that always fascinated me right from the Soviet Union era. It's the land of the bloody October Revolution and of people who suffered not just at the hands of occupants but that of their own rulers," said Mr. Vijayan. The trip would have happened last year if not for the pandemic.

The couple took bank loans to fund their initial trips and repaid it from what little they could save from their coffee shop. They run the shop alone and leave for themselves the daily wages, which they would have had to pay had they engaged others. But as the number of trips increased so did the loan, which last year stood at around ₹4 lakh.

However, as their fame spread, they started getting sponsors to the point that they now need not have to pay for their trips any longer. Their last trip to Australia and New Zealand was sponsored and so as their latest trip to Russia, which is being funded by a travel agency.

Unlike their past trips, this time they will be accompanied by their two daughters and their families who, however, will have to fund the trip on their own. "It would take around ₹13.50 lakh, which they would raise by taking loan from their Provident Fund or pawning their ornaments," said 71-year-old Mr. Vijayan who treat life as countless journeys strung together.

He also has a trip to Singapore lined up to inaugurate the office of a travel agency of which he is the brand ambassador, a role for which he is also being paid.

Japan is where he wants to head next followed by Vietnam and Cambodia with his 69-year-old wife Ms. Mohana who is as enthusiastic about travelling.

Such as been their vast experience travelling around the world that the couple brought out a book last year, Chaaya Vittu Vijayanteyum Mohanayudeyum Loka Sancharangal, which when loosely translated reads as the global tours of Mr. Vijayan and Ms. Mohana by selling tea.

And the couple seems far from done with their travelling.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 6:35:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/now-a-trip-to-russia-for-globetrotting-tea-seller-couple/article37017483.ece

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