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May 28, 2015

Interview with Akul Tripathi

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Interview with Akul Tripathi

1. What triggered the passion to host a travel show?

I have always prioritized travelling. It has been my first love. I cherish the freedom in the wandering. And too often and much to the chagrin of my reluctant bankers, work has been sacrificed at its altar. Equally satisfying has been acting which remained something I did bits off, all through my growing-up years. The thought of how great it would be to host a travel show did cross my mind often, but the variety that was popular on television - the cosmetic look at family resorts and the few historic monuments would always distress and frustrate. Then along came Epic and suddenly, there was somebody looking for what I had always enjoyed. To be honest, even then, I was just gung-ho on researching and writing (and ofcourse eyeing the opportunity to recce). This is when Monia decided that I should have a go at hosting it and then like most things destined to be, it just fell into place.

2. Did you enjoy travelling to all those places? Have you visited all these remote locations before?

I enjoy travelling to places which have fallen off the map as at most times, the only reason is that there is no longer a road leading up to there anymore and no place of worship is functional. I must also say, I enjoy the quiet without the throng of people crowding at monuments. I have visited quite a few of the places featured in Ekaant before, while traveling with the Wilson College Nature Club, which is how I knew of them and some others on the wish list were checked because of Ekaant.

3. Why did you choose talking about abandoned places of India?

To give a voice to those who had no one speaking for them. Who is to decide which is a history that must be remembered and one that must be forgotten? All we know and should aspire to know about history is incomplete until all its players have had their say in it. And they are all interlinked. So until we know why these abandoned places lie desolate the way they do, our knowledge about why the ones that are still living in one sense or the other will remain incomplete.

And ofcourse the stories are fresh and new - and make for great television viewing.

4. What parts of India can we hope to see in the coming episodes?

(Laughs) All over we hope. Of course subject to the auspices of the great Indian bureaucracy and the magnificent Indian monsoon obliging and blessing us on our travels.

5. Which was your favourite location? And why?

I can almost sense the hurt other locations feel when I try moving one up the ladder. So leaving the locations and the histories aside, I confess I am partial to Ladakh. Its just the geographical part of the country that I feel the most alive in...

6. When not hosting, what can we find you doing best?

Travelling to more places without a camera following me and me holding one instead. I enjoy reading and tinkering with technology. And did I forget to mention playing with my dogs and sipping coffee on my mum’s swing - sometimes simultaneously?

7. What kind of roles / TV shows attracts you the most?

I have always been keenly attracted to history, crime, the supernatural and other intellectually stimulating software made for television, movie or print. Regrettably there are few of these that we produce in the Indian market, so a large chunk is from western shows. The Newsroom, Luther, Broadchurch, Elementary, DaVinci’s Demons are the recent addictions. Looking to get my hands on Marco Polo and need to watch some more of Vikings and Black Sails.

8. How attached are you to Indian History and Mythology?

Oh! Extremely. And the more you try to find out about it, the larger it begins to appear. It is never ending and that is good for me. Sorted for this life time. Though history sometimes manages to trump the fantastical mythology. And it gets even better when you can’t tell the two apart.

9. Do you prefer doing shows on TV or doing Bollywood films?

Catch 22! No safe way of answering that, is there? But honestly, I have the experience of only one movie and in comparison have done significantly more television shows. The nomad in me loves the fast pace of television - but all too often the devil that guards my love for detail agonizes over the luxurious time that films offer to cross the t’s and dot the i’s.


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