Girl on the move: Zareen Khan's travel bucket list and how the universe helped manifest her true calling
On-screen, you have seen her play the role of a princess in her debut movie Veer and as a paranormal investigator in Vikram Bhatt’s 1921.
In the real world, she has been a fierce advocate for body positivity and a healthy lifestyle.
Yet, Zareen Khan says her true calling in life is to travel, to explore new regions, cultures and histories.
“A chance to travel around the world was something I’d asked of the universe,” says the actress, over the telephone, recalling a chat with her sister.
“It was about two years ago, during a shoot in Bradford that I told her I wanted a job that would let me travel the world extensively. Live in the best places, eat the best food and get paid to do it.”
Now, as the host for the third season of Jeep Bollywood Trails, the actor’s show will see her travel to iconic film locations across India, along with directors talking about their experiences of shooting there.
Excerpts from the interaction:
OTT shows and TV series are the flavour of the season. How did you decide that now is the right time to come on board for the show?
The experiences that you get from travel cannot be bought with any amount of money.
Travel has been my soul’s true calling.
But because of my schedule, I have never been able to engage in a truly immersive experience.
This show brings together a hobby and my vocation and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
Bollywood Trails takes us to landscapes that have been backdrops for some of India’s most loved movies.
The itinerary for this season includes Manali for Jab We Met featuring Imtiaz Ali, Shimla for Bang Bang featuring Siddharth Anand, Varanasi for Raanjhanaa featuring Anand L Rai, and Udaipur for Dhadak with Shashank Khaitan.
How different is it filming for a travel show, in comparison to a movie?
Honestly, I wouldn’t call the show a challenge.
When you really love something, you embrace everything that comes with it.
In one of the episodes, I got to ride an ATV bike.
I have previously tried my hand and failed miserably.
One time, I even managed to drive into a tree.
In that sense, the show is a mix of experiences that are exciting and frightening, all at the same time.
What’s one cool travel skill you’ve acquired from hosting the show?
The best thing I have learned is that when you travel, you need to speak to the people.
From when I enter a city, I talk to the locals and ask them for suggestions about what to do, where to go and what to eat.
Everyone has such varied responses, and that helps you gain a new perspective.
Which was your favourite episode yet?
Varanasi was beautiful.
Watching the Ganga Ghat Aarti was out of the world.
The energy was surreal.
Jeep Bollywood Trails airs on AXN every Saturday at 8 pm.
— Rebecca Vargese