Updated: Sep 1, 2020
In the lands of Guru where the morning starts with Amritvelle ki ardas and ends with firecrackers. The city which smells of Kada Prasad, the border where you feel patriotism like never before where the voices never stop cheering the glory of India. That ghee wale aloo ke parathe to malai marke lassi you won't get that anywhere else in the world. This is the holy land of Amritsar.
In the month of February when the temperature goes as low as 5 degrees celsius, at the time of dawn, it gets hard to feel your hands, and to shoot is much harder. We started our road trip from Gurgaon to Amritsar, which is about a 9-hour journey, we reached Amritsar at 3 PM in the afternoon. We went to the restaurant called Sarhad for the lunch and Golden temple to do the location scouting for our shoot. While discussing things with the temple authorities, we came to know that there was a fireworks show happening at 9 PM the same night. We stayed back got the shots of fireworks and proceeded. Thus scouting is necessary for a shoot as you can end up getting some additional exclusive shots.
The next day we started at 5 in the morning, we went to cover sunrise at the golden temple. Despite the freezing cold, there were so many people waiting there to visit the holy place. We went in got some shots and we were busted because according to new temple rules to shoot in the premises was not allowed because of the lovely tik-tokers. The mistake we did was as we shot at the golden temple a few years back and we assumed shooting in the premises would have the same rules. It was a client shoot and we had to take the shots. Neither we nor the client had the permission to shoot in the premises so we talked to authorities and sorted a way to shoot.
SARHAD, meaning border in English, is a restaurant located just 1.5 km from the world’s most heavily guarded India-Pakistan border at Wagah. As you enter the place it gives you such a colorful vibe that is hard to miss. It has a hand-painted truck by the amazing truck artist Haider Ali from Karachi. We thought it to be a great place to shoot the interview and a few B-roll as all the vibes you get from that place were of patriotism and partition.
Post that we went to Wagha Border to shoot the retreat ceremony also known as the flag-lowering ceremony. At the time of the retreat, the border looks like a battleground, as the procession is conducted with loud shouts and heavy foot stomping by the soldiers. By taking the few ending shots it was a wrap.
I might be at a bad place if I don't talk about the food there, as I keep drooling only about thinking of it the trip isn't complete without the food. Before this trip, I have tasted like about hundreds of different kinds of lassi but the taste you get here is like never before. Near the Golden Temple, there is a restaurant called Bhra (Brothers) Da Dhabba the food there was so moth watering we couldn't resist but ate till our stomach bursts. We might just go back there someday only to enjoy the food and sit by the water in the holy land to experience peace and spirituality like never before.
Learning from the Shoot:
Always recheck the rules of the place to shoot even if you visited it a day ago.
Recki for a shoot is always necessary it can end up giving you some exclusive shots.
Locals are the best source to gather information about the place.