Sunday, June 23, 2024

Switzerland is a Bollywood dream—for me, you, and my Amma :)

 Our trip to Switzerland was an ode to all the fantasies of youth. Movies like Silsila, Chandni, DDLJ, Darr, and many more made Switzerland a fantasy land for every woman in India. I was no exception.

The Swiss flight was a big shocker in itself, with very few Indians on board, unlike our usual flights to Europe on the way to India. We landed in Zurich, then Geneva, and took a train to Lausanne. The next day, we went to Montreux, and the day after, we came to Lucerne. It felt like Switzerland, not mini India. Things changed drastically after a couple of days when we reached Interlaken. So many Indians—the town really is a mini India full of Indian tourists.

Many movies are shot in that region, and the town has a Yash Chopra statue, calling him the Ambassador of Interlaken. No wonder so many of us go there to relive those memories of our youth where Simran and Raj met each other (in DDLJ) or Chandni and Rohit danced in the snow (in Chandni) or Sunil and Kiran romanced (in Darr). I met so many travelers from various parts of the world. The train journeys bring people together. I still have to write about those experiences.

Every saree lover has to wear a saree in those mountains and valleys to feel like a Yash Chopra heroine—how could I not? We were traveling light, so had to pack wisely. Instead of chiffon, I packed Amma’s 50-gram silk saree.

This post is about my saree, Amma, and her love for Shahrukh Khan. Amma watched “Fauji” religiously (Shahrukh Khan’s debut TV series aired in 1989 on Indian television). Amma loved the TV serial and the hero. Not only that series, but SRK’s movies (at least younger SRK’s) remained her favorites. I didn't wear the saree on the mountains or lakes or shot any Instagram reel or video. I simply wore Amma’s saree as a tribute. I visited Yash Chopra's statue to thank him for bringing the fantasy land alive for so many women like Amma, who couldn’t visit Europe in real life but sure enjoyed the romantic notion associated with it.

I roamed around the town, took a picture at the filming location of a scene from DDLJ, bought a cowbell, and just sat on a park bench to watch people for some time. Amma was with me everywhere.

This was a big trip for me, booked in late February. I didn't get any time to plan, discuss, or pack with her. I had a very hard time planning and packing for this trip. Every day I missed her for various video calls and pictures and details of my trip. I took hundreds of pictures but lacked motivation to send them to anyone or post them anywhere. 

But in Interlaken, she was with me, sitting and chatting about those beautiful flowers, mountains, and people. She would have loved the bloom in Switzerland, enjoyed seeing Shahrukh’s poster at the DDLJ shooting location, and watched the movie again with me after my trip.

During my trip, my younger sister had a Satyanarayan Pooja in her home, and I wondered if my Amma was making those across-continents visits to be with her daughters. 

A silk saree from Amma’s closet. In Interlaken, Switzerland. 

I didnt shoot the famous "Jee le apni Zindagi Simran scene' in the train but managed to take a pic on the bus. 
The park where Raj played a prank on Simran, (DDLJ) across the Yash Chopra Statue and Victoria Hotel. 
for this trip he was my Raj and Rahul ( Names of the Hero's from the movies) 
How can you not buy a cowbell in Switzerland
A quiet dinner
the view from "our home" for 3 days in Interlaken 
The Church Simraj prays ( DDLJ) Town Saanen 

The famous "Palat palat Bridge - In Saanen 

In DDLJ Kajol is drunk and takes the stuff from this shop and SRK pays. There was no SRK , but Mr Husband bought the pastry and coffee :) 
Town - GStaad 

The Girl in the Information Center Victoria - she had a flyer "Movie locations in Bollywood" but didnt know much why Indians visit this small town ( Population around 9K) her Bollywood lesson started with Jaya, She promised me to watch DDLJ, Chandani and Darr  - 
The Song location - Jara Sa Jhoom loon main
The Station 
someone else was making an insta reel in Jungfrau

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