Rahul Bose shoots for Santosh Sivan's 'Dastaan' in Kashmir

Rahul Bose has just finished shooting in the bitter winter of Jammu and Kashmir for Santosh Sivan's second Hindi film "Dastaan" and predicts that the valley is soon going to be a favourite shooting spot for international cinema.

Rahul told IANS: "It was an amazing experience. The army and police were fully cooperative. But we never needed them. My prediction about Kashmir: with the kind of vehicles, hotels, food and tourist 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.

"There're very few international locales that haven't been explored yet. Kashmir is definitely going to be that destination."

He went to the valley after decades.

"The last time I had been to Kashmir I was four. 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. It was all white with snow and certainly gloomy, but the shapes of the chinar trees covered with snow transports you to another world."

Apparently Rahul, Anupam Kher and the rest of the crew escaped near death when their car skidded off a steep slippery road. However, Rahul says that there is no truth in the report.

"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 a.m., 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 two-and-a-half-hours down the mountains in that snowstorm. It was sensational. Twenty-five 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 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 seven-star hotel."

Indo-Asian News Service