Location Diaries: The miracle cure
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week it is Annanuku Jai
Dinesh of Attakathi fame apparently had an ‘otherworldly’ experience when shooting for his upcoming film, Annanuku Jai. This, he says, happened on the hills of Tiruvannamalai, after the director asked him to climb a tree on the third day of the shoot. “It was a tall palm tree, and being a city boy, I had never climbed a tree before,” he says. “Imagine my plight then to know that the first ever tree I’d be climbing would be such a tough one.” Dinesh trained with a tree climber for around an hour to learn how to climb it barefoot.
If he believed it would be a simple matter of climbing it once, he realised how wrong he was. “I had to climb up and down many times due to technical reasons. The retakes went on till late evening. It was only then that the shot was eventually okayed,” he says.
Naturally, he felt the after-effects. “I couldn’t walk the next day. My hips and ankles hurt. The soles of my feet developed deep cracks, on account of the bark. I ended up developing a fever as well,” he says. The crew wanted to get him medical attention, but he refused.
It was at that time as he was hurting that he felt the urge to climb the Tiruvannamalai hill. “I took an auto from the village to reach the base of the hill,” he says. “I set off barefoot at 5 am, and eventually, managed to reach the top. I sat, soaking in the view for the longest time. I felt totally at peace. When I came down, almost miraculously, my pain and fever started vanishing. I was able to get back to shoot the very next day.” Dinesh did the trek two more times during the next couple of days. “I was cured, and my deep faith in the spiritual significance of the place was reinforced. It was an experience I will always remember."