On one of those lazy weekends, I was sitting with a bag full of cheese dipped popcorn and a bottle of Pepsi watching the much acclaimed movie ‘Paan Singh Tomar’. I was fascinated by the accent of the people portrayed in the movie and also by the bamboozling myriads of the dreaded Chambal Valley. But what I felt most was a persistent feeling of being there- in Chambal- and seeing it for real. I mean, I had only heard about it but when I saw it on screen, mingled with culture and characters associated with Chambal, the fascination for the place grew. This brings me to the point where I yanked my typewriter and started typing away, with the thought that over the years the movies and the places where they have been shot have complimented each other in a big way. The time is opportune as the film industry just completed 100 glorious years of entertainment and fun!
The earliest that I remember a movie making a destination a household name was the movie ‘Love in Tokyo’. I was not even born when the movie hit the theaters but a whole generation of youngsters fed on the hit numbers like ‘Love in Tokyo’ or the extremely tantalizing ‘Sayonara’. So without much ado, I bring to you four movies and four destinations that complimented each other and became a nationwide rage.
Mera Naam Joker: So who can forget this timeless classic? Set in the backdrop of the beautiful landscapes of Moscow, it’s a moving story of a young man often betrayed by the sinewy paths of love. The unforgettable character of ‘Joker’ played by Raj Kapoor, still summons tears to the eyes of the viewers. At the time the movie was released, Russia (particularly Moscow) and its fine line of ballerinas became the topic of conversation. Over the years, Moscow has become a place that people of India want to visit – if only to relive the memories of Mera Naam Joker.
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge: One of the biggest hits in the Indian movie industry, this movie took viewers to the exotic locations of Europe and the crop fields of sadda Punjab. It was as much the charm of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol as it was the spell of the surreal destinations of Europe that made the movie a major success. I remember the songs where Shah Rukh and Kajol could be seen dancing their ways to the hearts of the audience against the backdrop of such beautiful locations that I longed to be there – of course I wanted Kajol to be there with me too!
Dil Chahata Hai: Goa! Girls! Parties! Friends! Yes, this was the movie that got the youngsters of my generation sit up wide eyed and take notice of the party capital of India – Goa. From the moment I saw the scene where Saif, Aamir, and Akshaye (Khanna) sit on a wall facing the beach, I had no other ambition but to be there with my buddies at least once. I am sure many of us would have made the same resolve and acted on it. Overnight, Goa became the destination to be in on New Year; or for us hippies, any time of the year.
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara: We celebrate Holi and splash colours on each other; the Spanish people celebrate the La Tomatina festival where they splurge each other with tomatoes! Half the population of India came to know about this through the recently released movie ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’. The most appealing part of the movie was the song where the La Tomatina festival is shown in full flow and the almost exhilarated faces of the participants keep the audience in a trance. The locations in Spain, where the movie was shot, are places that people now dream to be and many have already taken a trip to the tomato land.