A home in the Himalayas
Every Wednesday, travellers Rohan Thakur and Bharati Bahrani aim to bring the Himalayas home, in miniature, on your television screen. Their weekly travelogue on MTV Indies, Way Back Home, is all about their journey to the lofty snow-capped sentinels of the north, captured on two DSLRs, one GoPro and an iPhone. Before embarking on their journey, Thakur filmed music videos, events, documentaries and corporate events for a living, while Bahrani, who majored in Digital Video Production from Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru, worked as a Script Supervisor in Hindi films. Excerpts from an interview with the duo:
Rohan Thakur and Bharati Bahrani of the travelogue on MTV Indies, Way Back Home
Q. What inspired you two to travel the way you did? Which places will the viewers see in the show’s episodes?
A. Bharati: Our initial plan was to travel around the north, and to take the Government Helicopter Service that is used to ferry the locals across the high passes, to get to Keylong in Lahual, and capture our journeys through aerial photography. But the permissions didn’t work out, so we journeyed from the foothills of the Himalayas and slowly made our way higher up.
We started the journey in Manali, my hometown, and we filmed the town’s lifestyle during the winter. Then, we travelled further up to Solang Nala, which is at the end of Kullu Valley and finally made our way to Malana, in Parvati Valley. We began by exploring the lower foothills of the Himalayas - towards Kangra, where we discovered places like Bir, Triund, and the Bathu Temples. We then drove high up to a village called Kugti in Chamba valley. Then, we drove all the way to Kinnaur, which will be featured in out Festival Special episode.
It was Spiti which, we thought, was a truly magical place. Every rock there, every bird, even the air in that place is surreal. We also travelled to Lahaul, where my ancestors are from, and ended the trip at Ladakh.
Q. Tell us about the most significant aspects of your journeys — the surprises, the setbacks and what you both, personally, discovered in the process.
A. Rohan: I discovered an extended family on this journey. Each segment was a surprise for us, because our shoots were unplanned.
Q. Music has played a significant role in the TV series. Tell us what went behind making it.
A. Rohan: Music has always been an integral part of my life. I cannot imagine going anywhere without my guitar. The songs in the show are more about how I perceive the mountains and about taking things slow and connecting with nature.
Q. What do you thinks sets Way Back Home apart from other travel shows on television?
A. Rohan: We kept it really casual, unlike other travel shows. Way Back Home has a structure, of course, but we have shown life like it is.
A. Bharati: I think we have tried to make the show as honest and as experiential as possible. We are no hosts, so the viewers live the journey along with us, rather than through us.