Location Diaries: Sun, sand and runaway horses
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week it is Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru
Karthi didn’t know he would be in for an adventure on the sets of Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru in Rajasthan near the Rajasthan-Gujarat border. One scene required that Karthi, who plays a cop, ride a horse on a river bed. The actor, trained in horse riding, seemingly had everything in control. The horse had other plans though, as it suddenly began galloping at full speed. A jeep, with the cinematographer, followed them, and stopped midway, failing to keep pace.
Karthi recalls in horror how the horse didn’t slow down for at least two kilometres and finally stopped in exhaustion. Karthi urgently got down and had to walk all the way back to the base camp. Only later did he realise why this had happened. Apparently the young, strong mare, Chandini, was only used to enclosed spaces as it was usually trotted around at local functions. The shooting was apparently its first experience in a wide open area. “So when exposed to such freedom, it just began to run. I’ve ridden a horse before, for Kashmora, but that was just within a compound. So, it was also my first horse ride in the wild!” says Karthi.
Karthi also says he was very close to developing a sun stroke while filming a dangerous chase scene involving two buses on a highway. “The exposure to the harsh Rajasthan sunlight became unbearable after two days. One of the stuntmen got a sunstroke. I was lucky to escape it.”
The actor also encountered a sandstorm. “It was so bad that a crane toppled over and drone cameras got damaged. Some sand particles were sharp, and almost drew blood when they came in contact with my skin. The locals told us to cover ourselves with blankets and simply wait till it subsided,” he says.