Location Diaries: Vidharth's trip to the past with Aayiram Porkaasugal
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week it is Aayiram Porkaasugal
Shooting for Aayiram Porkaasugal made actor Vidharth feel like he'd travelled back in time. The reason, he says, was the location of the shoot, a small village of Kuruvadipatti near Thanjavur. "Everyday we would travel for several hours from our star hotel in town to reach this village where we shot for around 38 days. During the journey, I noticed how all our big towns have begun to look similar -- with their new fancy buildings and modern infrastructure. They have lost their older, defining identities with time. But as we neared this village, I saw that it was untouched by modernity. I saw 100-year-old houses preserved intact. The minute I saw the village, I fell in love with it," Vidharth tells us.
The villagers met the crew every day, bringing homemade food and inviting them for meals after shoot. Notably, 40 local villagers were also roped in to act in the movie by director Ravi Murgaiah. "We tasted a variety of local fare that is rarely found in cities, like nelakadala chutney, paavakka kootu with saadham, yelandhapazham, items and dishes made from siru dhanyangal (millets). In fact, I brought back 100 kg of hand-pounded rice (kai kuthhal arasi) from there," the actor adds.
Vidharth also fondly remembers the games of dice he sometimes played with the women of the village in the afternoons, on the thinnai of a large house. "I was so impressed by the way they had maintained the quaint charm of their village. I asked them to not destroy those buildings." The village, he says, has become his favourite place, and he even went back to visit it. "The villagers still call me up and I enquire about my new friends there. This was one of my most memorable film shoots."