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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"Kashmir is the next Morocco for world cinema" - Rahul

Rahul Bose has just finished shooting in the bitter winter of Kashmir for Santosh Sivan's second Hindi film, Dastan. But he's never felt warmer. "The last time I had been to Kashmir I was 4. I had no recollection of the Valley. We shot in freezing bleakness. The weather was very Russian. It was like Adventures of Narnia coming to life…all white with snow and certainly gloomy. But the shapes of the Chinar trees covered with snow transports you to another world."

Rahul can't stop raving about the now-tranquil Valley, “The warmth we experienced there was amazing. The army and police were fully co-operative. But we never needed them. My prediction about Kashmir...with the kind of vehicles, hotels, food, and tourism infrastructure that it now boasts of, Kashmir according to me is going to be the next destination for international cinema…like Morocco became seven years ago. Very few international locales haven't been explored yet. Kashmir is definitely going to be that destination.”

Apparently, Rahul, Anupam Kher and the rest of the crew escaped near death when their car skidded off the steep slippery road. Says Rahul, "That's what was reported. But it isn't true. It was also reported that I was driving when the car skidded. Not true at all. I haven't touched the steering wheel of any vehicle in Kashmir. No sensible actor touches vehicles in a production unit. You lose your insurance if you do such stupid things. We were in Chandanvadi shooting the glacier when at around 10 am, it began to snow. We decided to go back from 30,000 feet above sea level to downhill to Pahalgam. The cars began to slalom. We stopped our cars, and all of us walked for 2 ½ hours down the mountains in that snow- storm. It was sensational. 25 years of rugby stood me in good stead that morning. And don't forget, I'm a boy from the hills. I'm from Kasauli."

Shooting with Santosh Sivan for the second time was an exhilarating experience for Rahul. "Last year we shot Before The Rains in Kerala which was cold enough. Now Kashmir got so much colder that Kerala seems warm in comparison. I've told Santosh our next movie together better be in a warm 7-star hotel."

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