Filmi Escapes (Travel With The Movies)

Filmi Escapes (Travel With The Movies)

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Item Code: NAG468
Author: Juhi Saklani
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2013
ISBN: 9781743219669
Pages: 352 (Through out Color Illustrations)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8 inch X 5 inch
Weight 420 gm
Preface

The summer of 1977. I was about eight years old, a curious, playful boy in a West Delhi colony. That's the time Kanu and Timsi walked into my life, transporting me to the cool climes of Kashmir. Newlyweds, the duo escaped to snow-draped landscapes to mark the beginning of the new chapter in their lives. And they sure knew how to have fun in the snow, singing and dancing away against a backdrop of white peaks, pine trees and log huts.

To this day, I cherish that 'trip' to Kashmir. I owe it to the man who introduced millions of Indians to their own country: Yash Chopra. Kanu and Timsi are characters from his film, Doosra Aadmi, played by real-life couple Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh. Doosra Aadmi showed me how cinema, especially Bollywood, treats 'location' as a character in its stories. And, somewhere, it gave birth to the traveller in me. I imagined myself in the same locale, running around trees and hurling snowballs.

'Doosra Aadmi showed me how cinema, especially Bollywood, treats 'location' as a character in its stories. And, somewhere, it gave birth to the traveller in me. I imagined myself in the same locale, running around trees and hurling snowballs.'

In the same year I watched Amar Akbar Anthony - a true-to- formula Hindi popcorn film. Among the many hit songs it gave us, my favourite is 'Humko tumse ho gaya hain pyar kya kare:

I could visualise myself in a buggy with the lovely Parveen Babi, racing down a secluded Mumbai (then Bombay) beach. When I arrived in Mumbai in 1991, as a trainee, I remember looking for a buggy on the beach.

Exploring a destination on screen is as old as Indian cinema. Thanks to song sequences, directors have travelled to all corners of the country. In some cases, the climax of a film is set against a backdrop far removed from where the story pans out.

'Tourist guides in many destinations use filmi anecdotes to make their narratives more interesting. They 'Will tell you how many cameras were used, how many dancers there were, from which direction the heroine ran into the frame, how the hero jumped into the scene to take the villain by surprise and so on..'

A milestone in Indian cinema's love affair with locations is Sholay; the blockbuster was shot almost entirely at Ramanagaram (near Bangalore), a place no one had even heard of until the film came along.

I've heard that tourist guides in many such destinations use filmi anecdotes to make their narratives more interesting. They will tell you how many cameras were used, how many dancers there were, from which direction the heroine ran into the frame, how the hero jumped into the scene to take the villain by surprise and so on.

One of my favourite film-makers is Satyajit Ray, a man whose passion for detailing and travel came across beautifully in his films. One of the most commendable portrayals of Varanasi in Indian cinema is Ray's Aparajito. The serpentine alleys, the crowded ghats, the crumbling mansions, the temples, the slow, uneventful life of the Bengali diaspora ... every scene in Aparajito is like a page in a guide to Varanasi.

India is truly blessed when it comes to locations. In two of my films, I have used Delhi, my hometown. If I make another Delhi film, I'd like to use the Metro Railway and show how it has changed lives in the capital. Fort Kochi is where I would love to film a murder mystery. If I do end up making the film, you will discover yet another gem of a destination through the eyes of a movie camera.

Contents

Preface4
Delhi6
Agra40
Lucknow54
Varanasi64
Shimla80
Kasauli92
Nainital102
Amritsar110
Kashmir122
Ladakh136
Udaipur146
Jaisalmer162
Mumbai176
Western Ghats208
Goa228
Gujarat248
Kolkata272
Darjeeling292
Ooty302
Kerala314

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