Location Diaries: In tune with nature
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week it is Oru Nalla Naal Paatha Solren
When Gayathrie signed up for Oru Nalla Naal Paatha Solren (ONNPS) little did she imagine the adventures in store. Playing a tribal girl with Gautham Karthik and Vijay Sethupathi as co-stars, Gayathrie shot for her portions mainly in the Thalakonam forest. Normally actors find jungle shoots very difficult with insects, snakes and creepy crawlies giving them a rough time. But Gayathrie thoroughly enjoyed her stint in the forest.
The actor recounts an incident from the shoot: “We were shooting night and day on a small hillock in the forest. On one side was a watchtower on which unit members and Gautham Karthik would hang out, because of the breathtaking overview of the entire plains below. Also, the mobile signal was weak inside the forest but excellent on the watchtower. One day, a unit hand spotted a herd of elephants in the clearing below, coming towards the hillock. He shouted a warning to all of us, to go down the hill immediately, towards safety.”
But, instead of running away from the elephant herd, Gayathrie and the others, started running in the direction of the elephants, to catch a glimpse of them! “We heard them saying there was a baby elephant in the group and we wanted to see it. So no one thought about their safety at that moment. All we wanted to do was to see the elephants at close quarters.” Luckily for them, the elephants turned around and ran away from the commotion and the potential mishap was averted.
Gautham Karthik managed to record the entire elephant sighting on his mobile phone. “That’s because he was on top of the watchtower. He showed us the video, and we found solace in it, since we had missed the exciting moment,” she adds.
Gayathrie also had another encounter with nature soon after. “On the last day of the shoot, the entire unit was having dinner on the terrace of the bungalow where Vijay Sethupathi was lodged, at the edge of the forest. Suddenly I looked up and saw a shooting star! It was a magical moment. The sky was extremely clear in that area. In fact, I even saw the arm of our galaxy and excitedly told everyone about it. At first, they didn’t believe me, but Gautham consulted a constellation app on his phone to cross check. When he confirmed I was right, everyone appreciated my knowledge of and interest in astronomy."