She is just back from Male, having soaked herself in the beauty of white sandy beaches and the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean, all the while shooting for her popular travel show, Musafir Hoon Yaaron. The soft-spoken, gorgeous Deepti Bhatnagar is on a high, with her travel show for pilgrims, Yatra, netting in sizeable applause as well.
We meet at her sprawling bungalow in suburban Mumbai where she is busy nursing her operated knee. “Honestly, I overdid it just a little bit with long skiing and hiking holidays in Austria,” she smiles. “But that isn’t keeping me down. I am only doing those destinations where I can swim, as that eases the pressure off the joint,” she says. “Musafir Hoon Yaaron has gone online now, and my blogs and travel writing have increased. Yatra is on air again, albeit in a different avatar. We are shooting in HD format now. I shot the first episode at the famous Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai. In this edition of Yatra, I am delving deeper into the ritual fabric at every holy place. For instance, we look at the stories behind the different prasads offered to different gods at various temples. I am also bringing out the iconic chants for the deities, the kind of puja done on different days of the week and so on. These are some informative nuggets that make for an interesting show.” Of course, temples are very difficult to shoot in. For spaces where cameras and phones are not allowed, getting permissions to shoot inside sanctums is even tougher.
Of course, Deepti manages it all with a smile. “Often it takes a month for one permission to come through,” she says. Both the shows have come a long way since 2001 when Deepti ventured into television production. For Musafir Hoon Yaaron alone, she visited almost 80 countries in six years! She has always been a familiar face on the telly with her commercials on the air and several blockbusters, including the Jackie Shroff-starrer Ram Shastra and the Aamir Khan-starrer
Mann, apart from movies down South. Musafir Hoon Yaaron is now spanning novel pegs in the best skiing destinations, spa specials, adventurous locales… “If you are starting out with skiing, Gulmarg in Kashmir is your best bet.
Shilpi Madan for Deccan Herald