Location Diaries: Turkish delight
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week it is Enai Noki Paayum Thota
Megha Akash, who loves travelling, was thrilled by the prospect of a trip to Turkey for the filming of Enai Noki Paayum Thota. Even though the shoot lasted only for three days, Megha expresses delight at getting the chance to visit the exotic country.
Earlier, while shooting for the film in India, Megha had tried to savour all the different food wherever she travelled, thanks to director Gautham Menon’s penchant for local cuisine. Shooting near the Kerala border, he’d sent someone to get banana fritters all the way from Kerala for the unit. “In Mumbai, we tasted local kebabs when we were shooting near the Sea Link. He’s a total foodie; so it was an interesting gastronomic experience all through,” says Megha.
But her luck seemed to run out in Turkey somehow. When she landed at the airport in the country after a long flight, tired and hungry, she couldn’t find much to eat.
She says she couldn’t quite understand what the Turkish labels meant. “The food looked unfamiliar; so I didn’t really know what to order. I tried some gravy and rice but couldn’t handle the taste. In the end, I had to settle for some fruit juices to quell the hunger,” she says.
Things didn’t improve even after reaching the hotel in the coastal city of Bodrum. The attendants didn’t follow English and she, of course, couldn’t speak Turkish. Being a tea-lover, imagine her dismay to find there were no electric tea kettles in the rooms. “When I asked the staff for hot water to soak my tea bags, they didn’t understand what I said. So every time I wanted anything I had to call someone from the production team to procure it for me. It was an exotic locale but communication was really difficult.”
Her misfortunes with food persisted. For a song shoot with co-star Dhanush, Megha was instructed to go with the flow, and just react to whatever was on the road. As they walked, they reached an ice cream vendor and Dhanush picked two green-coloured ice creams and handed one to Megha. “The second I tasted the greenish blob, I cringed. It tasted awful! But as the camera was rolling, I pretended to enjoy it. Dhanush too seemed unperturbed.”
The minute the director yelled cut, both actors let out a loud ‘yuck’ at the same time. Megha then asked Dhanush why he had chosen that green coloured ice cream in particular. Apparently he had chosen it at random, never imagining it would taste so bad. But the thorough professionals they both were, they didn’t let the distaste show on camera.
“I then went to get another nicer flavour in order to get a good taste back in my mouth,” says Megha.