Inside Gupshup

Our take on out life behind and in front of the scenes in TV land in India.

I have traveled through India in the last 10 years, luckily it was my job as a television director that made this possible. The only drawback I see is that the time spent in each place is limited, owing to the shoot schedule. The travel however, has been a blissful experience. In recent months, I travelled extensively within one of the largest Indian states, set at the heart of the country-Madhya Pradesh. I was producing a show for ¬†National Geographic, India¬†and prior travels to this part had been to a few big cities. These were more or less like Bombay, minus the constant rush. So this time around I had no idea what to expect, as we were traveling to some of the interior regions. Honestly, not all the little towns here are set up to handle an influx of tourism. Those that are, leave little scope for a complete travel experience, since they are commercially set up for travellers to feel at home… One place absolutely stood out for its flavour and ancient architecture-Chanderi. Situated in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh, this small bustling town is dotted with monuments that are hidden away by the houses built around them. There is so much here that the Archaeological Survey of India can maintain only a few of the monuments, countless others will disappear soon enough. Many have already been vandalised by the locals who have broken down and carried away parts of the structures of the buildings to build their homes. Who is to blame? For them these are run down structures that serve no one, best it builds them a home. Few fight to protect the story of the land. The town itself is magical. Talking to the local historian, I realised that this town was once the centre point of trade-rich, bustling with activity and part of a flourishing kingdom. The design of the ancient town was such that it looked like a flower, with 4 petals spread out. The roads used to be lined with 3 tier shops, the lower most tier catered to people who travelled on foot, the middle layer catered to those on horseback-traders, merchants, nobles, etc and the uppermost layer traded their wares to the Royal family, who travelled on elephants. Very little evidence of this exists today. Knowing this much is enough for one to fall in love with the town. Its downfall came about when a new trade route was built to Delhi and Chanderi was laid aside. Being a tattoo enthusiast, I always assumed that tribal tattoos had their origins in Polynesian and Maori designs. This was until...

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