I'm a relatively recent entrant in the world of Hindi feature films, but I was the last character to be cast in this film. This production was not a film production to me from any angle; cause the only semblance of the fact that this was a film was when I met my director Kamal Sadanah.FIRST IMPRESSIONS
I was hooked from the first sentence he told me about the film, "This is a film about the Royal Bengal Tigers in the Sundarbans!" Kamal had his story, his research, and the technology that he would employ… the whens & the how's down to the last detail. Every nuance etched out to its final frame.
The excitement in his voice was infectious. When his narration ended, in my mind I was already in the Sundarbans!
I play the character of a Forest officer. A character that loves the Sundarbans. She takes immense pride in her job and passionately protects the marshlands. She is fiercely protective about the well being of the tigers in that reserve.
Personally I love the outdoors and I'm an animal lover. Fitness is part of my daily regime so I loved doing this role, I mean where else would one get to marry their work with their passion?!
A journey that began way before sunrise got us to our 'cruise-ship' well after the sun had set. This was now to be our 'home'. While we were still settling in our cabins, our cruise started to make its way into the dense undergrowth.
When I awoke, for the very first time in my life I saw what was The Sundarbans! I can still remember the sound of silence… it was deafening. But soon everybody got down to doing what he or she had there come for – unpredictable weather & rough unchartered terrain. The preparation was like a huge carnival preparing itself – the director was feverishly briefing his technicians, locals were helping out with equipment they'd never ever seen and we actors were getting ready to play our parts. Some rehearsing their lines, some their dialect, some familiarizing themselves with their costumes & props, some working out using whatever means were available including doing pull-ups over the very side of the boat! Then came the time for me to face the camera for my very first shot which was also the first shot of our film. I still remember it vividly, the sun was setting on the horizon…
Come nightfall and it was time to bond. Sitting on the deck with our drinks there were conversations, music, singing, laughter, sharing of experiences and thankfully no internet! Everyday after a tiring but fun shoot, this is how we would end our day and trust me there was no better way!
I've been an actor who has enjoyed my years in television, theater and feature films. I've essayed many roles with some very fine stalwarts in the industry. Needless to say I've enjoyed, learnt & grown from each of those experiences. But this trip & my time spent in the Sundarbans has been nothing short of a dream coming true, a fantasy, the memories of which shall last me a lifetime!
Godspeed & God Bless Kamal, Abis and my entire cast & crew, wish us all huge "ROAR"!!!