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Chasing Bollywood shoot locations on a jeep

Zareen Khan makes her small screen debut with jeep bollywood trails that will showcase some iconic bolly shoot locations

By Priyanka Roy

  • Published 20.01.20, 7:51 PM
  • Updated 21.01.20, 2:29 AM
The AXN show premieres on January 25 (every Saturday at 8pm).
The AXN show premieres on January 25 (every Saturday at 8pm). The Telepgraph

Bollywood actor Zareen Khan makes her small screen debut with Jeep Bollywood Trails. The AXN show, that premieres on January 25 (every Saturday at 8pm), has the star of films like Veer and Hate Story 3, travelling to locations where some iconic Bolly films have been shot. So, on the platter is a visit to Druk White Lotus School in Ladakh where 3 Idiots was shot, Manali for Jab We Met, Shimla for Bang Bang, Varanasi for Raanjhanaa and so on. Each episode will have Zareen not only driving through these locations but will also showcase a behind-the-scenes story from the directors who helmed these films. We caught up with Zareen for a chat on the show, the traveller in her and the destination on her bucket list.

We know that you are an avid traveller. What hooked you to sign up for Jeep Bollywood Trails?

I am a very passionate traveller. Travelling has always been a major part of my life. Even if I have one day off, I like to go somewhere… preferably a road trip… I just go somewhere! Jeep Bollywood Trails combines travelling with Bollywood and will air on a premium English entertainment channel like AXN. I don’t think I could have asked for a better TV debut. The show gives me the opportunity to drive to all these amazing destinations across the country where some iconic films have been shot, and also experience thrill and adventure. There was nothing that would not make me do it.

Which was your favourite among the locations you visited?

Well, every place had its own charm and promised a different experience. If I had to choose one, I would pick Ladakh because that was on my bucket list for the longest time. It was a trip that was planned many times, but never happened and now looking back, I feel it had to happen with a show as special as this. Through the show, I got to see a side of Ladakh that I don’t think I would have been able to if I had gone on my own.

Had you been to any of the places showcased on the show earlier?

Yeah, to many of them. But again, through this show, I got to see different facets of these places from the experiences I had earlier. When I visited these places earlier, I never thought that one day I would drive myself through such different terrains, and that too in the Jeep, which is a beast of a car and is perfect for such terrains.

If you had to shoot a film on any of these locations, which would you pick?

Ladakh, for sure, though the weather is very challenging and it gets very tough to shoot there in winter. I loved driving through Shimla, and I hadn’t been there before. We shot the show in Ludhiana, but I have already shot my films in parts of Punjab and have experienced the state on my own, apart from shoot. If we are doing a culturally rich film, then I would definitely pick Varanasi because the energies that one feels on the Ganga ghat in the evening while aarti is being performed can’t be described in words. So many places… just depends on the film I do, of course.

The number of Indians travelling to Spain went through the roof after Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Has that been the case with some of these locations after the films shot in them were released?

Well, many years ago, when Jab We Met had released, I had really loved the way Manali was shown in the film. I had planned a trip to Manali then just to see it in the way that it had been shown in Jab We Met.

What kind of a traveller are you — a careful planner, a backpacker or somewhere in between?

I would definitely describe myself as a happy hippie! Most of my travel pictures on social media have that hashtag because I really feel that is what my soul is about. I love travelling and I am okay with not having the most luxurious of experiences because somehow I feel that if your trip is planned around luxury, then you only end up seeing the outside beauty of that place. It’s only when you are backpacking or try to get into the interiors of a city, that’s when it’s most enriching. For me, it’s all in the details.

Do you mostly end up travelling for work or do you earmark a couple of vacay days every year?

Mostly, my travel has been around work trips and I am happy that travelling is such an important part of my work. As it is, I get to travel a lot so I don’t consciously plan an annual trip but whenever I get a chance, I plan trips to destinations I haven’t been to before and draw up a wishlist that I want to explore.

Are you the adventurous sort?

I am very, very adventurous. When I travel, I love being out and about exploring that place… its history and its culture. I am not much of a shopper or a nightlife person when I travel because that we get back in India anyway.

What’s the one thing that travelling has taught you?

Travel makes you so humble because you realise that you are such a tiny part of such a big, big, big world. We always tend to take ourselves seriously, but we are just a tiny part of the universe.

Where do you find yourself escaping to the most when you need a break?

That would be Dubai because not only is it close to India, but my best friends live there. In India, if I have a few days in hand, I like to go up north to the mountains. Maybe, Manali. If it’s a shorter vacation, then I would go to Goa or Panchgani.

Is there a destination you haven’t been to yet and want to put it in your travel list for 2020?

Egypt is one. I am very fascinated by the history of that country… it has so much history, with the Sphinx and the Pyramids. I’ve only seen the beauty of Greece in pictures and want to go there. In India, I want to explore the Northeast, having heard so much about it and seen its beauty in pictures. I really want to go there soon.

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