Highway On My Podcast Ep 28: On Pol Sambol, being superheroes in Sri Lanka, and spotting elephants in the wild

A trip down memory lane.

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Has the coronavirus pandemic disrupted your plan to take that long trip? Is the ongoing lockdown making you crave going off-road? Fret not. If you can’t go to the highway, Rocky, Mayur, Prashant, and Abhinandan — the team behind shows like Highway On My Plate, Vital Stats of India, Jai Hind, and Rocky and Mayur's Food Xpress — will bring the highway to you!

So, here goes the newest offering from Newslaundry: Highway On My Podcast. The creators of the much loved TV travel show revisit their travels across India, sharing stories, anecdotes, trivia, and — for when the roads are open and inviting again — recommendations on food, culture, people, and much more.

In this episode of Highway On My Podcast, Rocky, Mayur and Abhinandan fly off to their first international destination for the show, Sri Lanka. During the first leg of their tour, the men discuss their visits to Habarana, Sigiriya and Minneriya.

Rocky sets the conversation going with the socio linguistic relevance of “bada bhai” (big brother) and “chhota bhai” (younger brother) with reference to Sri Lanka. Delving into what he thinks the essence of Sri Lanka is, Mayur talks about the spices, beaches, Buddhist culture, plenty of green cover, and the generosity and courteousness of people.

On reaching the island nation, Rocky and Mayur decided on becoming Indian superheroes who would represent culture in a foreign land. This led to the birth of “Masala Man” and “Aachar Boy” (pickle boy). The duo reminisce about the lack of changing rooms during most of their travels and having to don their superhero costumes on top of the clothes they were already wearing.

Talking about superheroes, the gang talks about how Masala Man and Aachar Boy saved a deer from being hunted down. Abhinandan is reminded of how pleasantly surprised he was by the extraordinary use of jackfruit by Sri Lankans for making a wide variety of exquisitely unique dishes.

The team fondly remembers their first pit stop — Cinnamon Lounge, a beautiful property with tiny cottages where monitor lizards peacefully cohabited with guests.

Next comes the trek up to the magnificent Sigiriya rock and the beautiful statues on the way. Once back down, the boys head to a nearby village where local hosts arrange a luncheon prepared by the villagers. While the food is cooking, the gang take two canoes and go boating on a local reservoir built by a king. Abhinandan is yet again stunned by the beauty and cleanliness that a place left completely to the locals reflects.

The meal, like all meals prepared by locals, turns out to be scrumptious. Abhinandan talks about how similar it was to Indian Goan cuisine despite the stark differences.

The men then travel to a national park where they see hundreds of Asian elephants in their natural habitat. They talk about red rice and a local preparation “Pol Sambol” whilst busting the myth about Indians never having invaded a foreign lands. Oh, and they also go hunting with a local tribe.

All this and more, only on Highway On My Podcast.

For more trivia and behind the scenes moments from Rocky and Mayur’s travels across India, sign up for the HOMP newsletter.

You can also find the podcast on:

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