Sanjana Sanghi is back with a new film and this time she is riding the heaviest bike among her team of four. Titled Dhak Dhak, the film stars Sanjana as one of four women who go on a bike trip to the Khardungla La Pass, world’s highest motorable road. And the actor confirmed that she did ride the bike by herself and can confidently go from Delhi to Khardung La now. Also read: Dhak Dhak producer Pranjal reveals Ratna Pathak Shah hesitated at first, is now a trained biker: Meri haddiya tudwayega
In an interview with Hindustan Times, Sanjana shared her experience of filming for a bike trip film with Ratna Pathak Shah, Dia Mirza and Fatima Sana Shaikh. She also addressed the poor performance of her last film opposite Aditya Roy Kapur. Excerpts:
Your role in Dhak Dhak looks different from what we have seen of you.
I am glad it looked different. That little bit is the endeavour, trying new things. Manjari is the story of lakhs of girls in India. She is from a very protective family in Mathura, she has never gone out in the real world. Through the film, we see her trying to find herself a little bit as she has always been under the shadow of her mother. It is her coming of age, understanding what she wants from life. She is innocent, naive and very endearing. It was lovely creating her for the film.
Is it true you rode the heaviest bike in Dhak Dhak?
I did. For some reason, my director felt that the Himalayan should be given to me because of my height. It was 411 cc as against 350 cc. At some point, I felt it was handling me instead of me handling it.
How was it to shoot with the three of them: Ratna, Dia and Fatima?
It was lovely. We were four women from different walks of life. The general mood and energy on set was an inspiration. We realised that we are living at a time when a film like Dhak Dhak can be made, where Ratna ma’am at 65 is on a poster of a mainstream Hindi film. It felt victorious at every point. We exchanged stories about each other. It was very awesome.
How difficult was it to shoot for a road trip film when you are actually riding a bike and not a car?
It’s a whole different experience. We were a crew of 300 people moving through different terrains. There was a heatwave in Uttar Pradesh, rains in Manali and snow in Ladakh. It really tests you on a physical level. There is also an immense thrill attached to it.
Can you confidently ride a bike now. Can you drive on a busy road in Mumbai?
Yes, of course. In Mumbai, you can be as seasoned but you can still get into a collision. What I can tell you is I can ride all the way from Delhi to Khardung La, I think that means something.
What challenges did you and others face during the shoot?
Its physically grueling and there is a lot that can go wrong. There can be an accident or someone can fall sick due to thin air in Ladakh. I have to give it to the stellar production crew – Taapsee and her team, the way they had all of it thought through for us. There were physios and medical facilities travelling with us. We were fully supported. The weather didn’t support many times. When four women are riding together on highways, when you block actual traffic, there are many challenges that are thrown your way but we came out shining.
What was the most memorable part of the shoot?
The most memorable was when we finally made to Khardung La. Never a film crew had reached Khardung La like we did. It is not an easy feat. I remember we all literally broke down in tears collectively when the cut was announced. There was sheer belief and joy on our faces, that will always be the most special memory.
Rashtra Kavach Om turned out to be a disaster. Did you anticipate it at all?
I had finished filming for Dhak Dhak by the time Om released. I also feel the film released at a time when there was barely any film that saw commercial success because no one was going to theatres. I do believe if Om released now, people would have responded differently since more people are going to theatres now. I try as much as possible that the success or failure of one film doesn’t determine my next choice. Working as an actor should come from a very honest place.
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