The majesty of the Athirapally Waterfalls has to be seen to be believed. These falls lie in the dense forests and jungles of the Thrissur district of Kerala. We drove more than two hours to reach these exotic falls and had to trek downhill for at least half an hour to reach the waterfalls. I then stood on top of huge rock and stone boulders only to see a shallow pond of fresh water under my feet. The afternoon heat and the excursion to the bottom had left me tired and sweaty. So I decided to take off my clothes and jumped into the cool pool of fresh water to take a dip. It was fun as I went on to take this royal bath in full view of the local passers-by. My team got busy shooting this and soon got some nice shots and expressions from me. I spoke about how Shah Rukh Khan’s film Asoka was shot at this very location. The entire song sequence of “San Sanana” was shot under these full as Kareena Kapoor seduces Asoka. Mani Ratnam, another famous director from the south, loves these waterfalls and shot for Raavan here which had Aishwarya Rai slipping down the hills of the waterfalls. It was a very dramatic sequence.
Bollywood has a love affair with this location and that is evident in its beauty. The thick dense forest with bamboo trees give enough shade as one is sliding down, but climbing back to the top is very taxing. With my bulk, I managed to break all the way up but was exhausted at the end.
Our next stop was the Vazhachal Falls. These were just adjacent and is a very shallow waterfall. There were some very rare birds with large beaks that could only drink rainwater when it was falling from the sky. This time, I chose the cooler shades of a large banyan tree just near the falls to deliver my speech. We did a few shots of me walking through the mud lanes into the forest. The trek here took longer. We were walking on flatter ground but it had been a packed day of shooting for us. I must say that I was getting the real feel of Kerala by now with its films, locations and its famous actors like Mohanlal and Mammootty. After all, A.R. Rahman and Ilaiyaraaja are from this region.
The essence of Kerala’s cultural and creativity was truly seeping into me and I love expressing my joy through my talks and through my commentary.