Location Diaries: Occupational Hazard- Yashika Aannand for Kadamaiyai Sei
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week, it is from Kadamaiyai Sei
Yashika Aannand, who plays a married woman and a mother to a five-year-old for the first time in her career in SJ Suryah-starrer Kadamaiyai Sei, feels this was one of her most challenging roles. "The role required me to dress in a lot of sarees. I had to speak very expressively too, especially with my eyes, and this was tough since I'm a naturally calm person," says Yashika. On the first day of filming, she had to enact a homely scene. "I had to complete household chores and send off my child to school. I had no experience with kitchen chores, and naturally, I was a tad nervous, fumbling with things at first. Somehow, I recalled what I had seen my mother doing and pulled it off."
She was also nervous about acting opposite SJ Suryah. "He is such a powerhouse performer, and I was worried about matching up to his energy and pace. He sensed my apprehension and put me at ease by chatting with me right on the first day, and shared instances about his nervous moments, especially while doing films in other languages."
Another unexpected challenge came on a day when team Kadamaiyai Sei was shooting on a beach. "The sunlight was stark and it got hotter as we continued to film a long scene. The additional skimmers, which have foil sheets on them, are used in lighting to reflect the bright sunlight, and it was getting impossible to keep my eyes open. The director kept telling me to communicate expressively with my eyes, but there I was squinting uncomfortably. It was with great difficulty that we managed our scene that day," shares Yashika.
If the blinding light was one problem, the next challenge came in the form of a stunt sequence in an old building. Yashika had to stand blindfolded, with a thick rope tied across her torso, and her hands fastened to a pillar behind her. "I had to stand in the same position for three hours continuously since the person in charge of tying me up had made a mistake. Instead of tying my body with one rope and my hands with another, he had tied me up fully with just one rope. Had they untied me during breaks, it could have caused continuity errors, and I had no choice but to stand in that painful position for hours. By the end of the shoot, my hands and legs were left stiff and my shoulders were aching as well."
Yashika is quick to add that everyone on sets was empathetic to her plight and assistants fed her coconut water during breaks. However, there was still one more ordeal left. “The set was filled with smoke, causing my eyes to burn. My ears got blocked as well. In all, there is no doubt that Kadamaiyai Sei was one of the most challenging shooting experiences for me. "