After working as Director, Dy. Director General, Regional Director in India and overseas offices of the Ministry of Tourism (over 37 years in various positions) I retired in the year 2005 from Indian Tourism office Mumbai. By 2006 January, I got assignment with IATO as Executive Director. In between I wrote two books "Compendium of Tourism Articles" and "Indian Tourism through Inner Eyes" which are in my own website www.gourkanjilal.com. My articles mainly on tourism have appeared in various travel magazines overseas and in India including Travel Biz Monitor. I have traveled over 65 countries overseas and visited all the states in India expect Tripura, Arunachal and Nagaland. I also give my service as visiting faculty in tourism Institutes and run charitable school offering free education to poor children as part of my social responsibility. This is a joint effort of like minded people.
Morning: My day starts at five in the morning with prayer to our family deity (Goddess Kali) and there after physical workout mainly Yoga and one hour brisk walk at an ornamental park at I-Block C.R.Park only on Sundays. I do social networking in the morning with my senior citizen club members. My breakfast is very simple Yoghurt , Fruit salad, cornflakes/milk or South Indian Snakes of course Tea/ Biscuits are there. I spare some time before bath for updating myself on what's happening in India and around the world through Newspaper & TV News, over tea. At around 10.15 AM I am in office which is 30 km. away from my residence at C.R.Park. To get started with work, I first check my e-mails, letters, face book, web request and try to keep in touch with Ministry officials, trade members, Media members and follow up on the action pending. I often need to represent IATO in various meetings so that there is continuity in IATO work. In such meetings I put forth IATO inputs and give feed back to IATO executive committee. Lot of correspondence work is there at IATO. Post lunch is mainly devoted to IATO administrative work, Response to Press/ members queries, updating membership, calling on officials in various Ministries and try to finish day's full work by 5:30 PM & leave office by 6 PM, if there are no meetings etc. I am very selective about my friends and like success in all the work I undertake and believe; with team spirit we can do a good work. At IATO Sectt. I have a very efficient team who believe in delivery.
After Hours:- In the evening , I go to my club "Bangiasamaj" where I am Vice President or visit the temple under which our charitable school runs namely Lokenath Ashram. My job is to arrange funds. I donate 10% of my earnings or the charitable work. I am not very fond of cinemas. I like threats and & see cricket, football matches on TV. Also try to make special time for friends, relatives in the weekend. Sundays I must go to temple in the morning & join our senior citizen Tea-club where I am known for my "stories and enjoy fun with my friends - I like lot of humour and that is the main reason of my popularity with my contacts. I am always worried about my Health as I am diabetic & always tend to loose my temper if things do not go as per my thinking. For me money is not the criteria. It is service and trust that are very important. I hate poverty but not poor. I am always with poor & needy.
Unplugged:- About books, I like to read mostly travel related magazines, religious books, books on wildlife and jokes. Another hobby is to visit unknown places hardly frequented by volumes of tourists. I hate to see our film related to theorists in Delhi also, any film about caste, Race, inhuman activities. I feel our TV serials very boring but News Reporting my vibrant. I see a lot TV News preferably "Time Now" I like Economic topics and enjoy dance especially folk dances on Doordarshan. I like Alovera Juice with Amla. My favourite Restaurant is (Bukhara at Maurya). I drive Getz Hyundai). Music-Indian Ragas, old songs sun by Mukesh, Kishore Kumar- old songs and Bhajans. I have likings for alcoholic drinks but do drink at social meetings.
About landmark Moments - The first time I got scholarship to go to France in 1975 to study Tourism Management course and there after opportunity to explore Europe and then onwords five years posting in U.K coinciding with Festival of India (1982) I did so much hard work to boost India image & I felt proud to give service for my country.My name coming in Newspaper, TV Interviews delivering talks at various forums - what a good time - quite different from the life which I was leading in India in a rented house and very bureaucratic atmosphere in Ministry of Tourism, Transport Bhawan - It was the blessings of my parents who gave me the best of education - I was holding a position in the Delhi University during my Post graduation MA history and I speak French English, Japanese, Hindi Bengali and fluent in Sanskrit . This helped me to read Bhagwat Gita in Sanskrit, English, Hindi and Bengali. I read, I follow the principle in my daily life.
I have over 500 friends overseas with whom I am in touch on a regular basis. The next landmark moment was when I visited Duke University Durham (USA) during my daughter's graduation Ceremony for her Doctorate and birth of grandson at Portland (USA) in 2007.
Favourite Cuisine:- Indian Chinese, Thai, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Mexican but my mother prepared the best Cuisine Fish Curry, Rice, Home made sweets etc.
Favourite Holiday Destinations:- Italy, Milan Rome Florence Venice-Sicily (Roman Holidays) I also like Switzerland, France, Greece, Austria, South Africa, Kenya, San francisco - Las Vegas (USA) visited these place several times.
I want Tourism industry in India to improve Infrastructure on a top priority basis if Tourism has to prosper and also need rationalization of taxes. If I am in charge of Tourism, I shall try to take necessary steps to see Tourism is given top priority with support budget. Otherwise Indian Tourism will remain where if was 3 decades back. The product is over priced mainly due to gap in demand & supportly. But it should be number one as I have seen many destinations in the world but India hold different charm for foreigners and we should in cash it with proper facilities.