Location Diaries: Kashmir blues
his weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week it is Sarvam Thala Mayam
GV Prakash was pretty excited when told that they would be shooting in Kashmir for Sarvam Thala Mayam, despite not being a big fan of cold weather. The four-day shoot was planned in a snowcapped mountain valley, which had many tiny rivulets of cold mountain streams running through it. Prakash was told to step into the shallow waters and keep walking, while performing the scene. It was a fifteen-minute sequence shot with an overhead drone camera.
The actor suddenly slipped and fell headlong into the water. “My shoes were not equipped for the icy terrain and had no grip. The tiny rocks and stones were slippery. I was wearing a sweater but had no gloves on despite the biting minus 7 degrees cold. So when I fell into that freezing stream, within seconds, my hands froze and my face turned blue! But since the drone was hovering, I somehow completed the fifteen minute shot though it was an absolute ordeal.”
As soon as the shot was over, he was rushed towards a campfire that the unit had set up nearby. He sat there covered with blankets for a few minutes before heading back to his hotel to change out of the wet clothes. “Even at home, I avoid air conditioning now, so you can imagine how terrible the experience was for me.”
Another time, Prakash had to ride an Apache 200 motorbike, on a steep, narrow mountain pathway, overlooking a deep valley. “It was difficult to apply brakes there because of the fear of skidding on the snowy, wet road. I had my heart in my mouth the whole time. But thankfully, as you can see, I
survived that shot.”