Singer-actor Meiyang Chang takes you to offbeat sites with Lost Essence of India
Having made a mark in films like Badmash Company (2010) and Byomkesh Bakshy (2015), singer and television host Meiyang Chang is back with a new show anchoring Discovery’s Lost Essence of India. Chang, 37, has already hosted four episodes of the travel show exploring some offbeat destinations in Goa and Kashmir, and the third generation Indian Chinese is looking forward to exploring more. He shares with us his excitement of rediscovering Goa, being an inquisitive traveller and his upcoming period drama on Indo-China war. Excerpts:
Did you know about Rivona caves in Goa or the other locations that are aired on the show?
Not at all. Goa for us is synonymous to beaches and I did not know they have backwaters, caves and waterfalls among other things. It was quite a revelation for me as I have travelled to Goa umpteen number of times for work as well as leisure. The most striking thing is most of the locations are close to the main area. For instance, the backwaters are close to Panjim, though the cave was towards the interiors. With Discovery the expedition went beyond beaches and food and it changes your perception of the place.
How did you react when the project was offered to you?
I was excited as well as very scared. Excited because work was resuming and I would get to travel again. And nervous because of the travel anxieties during Covid times. But the excitement overpowered the nervousness as I had the opportunity to explore unknown places and learn new things.
Tell us more about shooting during the lockdown.
Lockdown ensured social distancing. The places that we went to were predominantly isolated. Also, Goa is beautiful even during the monsoon. I remember one particular day when the rain won’t stop and we had to go ahead with the shoot, we had to wade in knee-deep water. It just added to the overall experience and changed my perception of travelling during the rainy season.
Besides Goa, what are the other destinations that will be explored on the show?
We will be resuming shoot soon and India is so vast and rich in culture that I am sure we will bring to you something you have never seen before. Personally, I would like to explore North East and Bengal. These two regions are very less explored and I would love to go back to Kolkata because I love their food and culture and also, they have a sizable Indian Chinese population.
What kind of traveller are you?
I am neither a solo nor a group traveller. Just one company is enough to make me pack my bag and get on the road. Earlier I used to be the kind of traveller who would make a list of the popular tourist spots and make sure they are all ticked off. But now I have evolved into someone who likes going beyond the ordinary.
Tell us about your future projects?
You will see me essaying the role of a soldier in the Mahesh Manjrekar directed web series, a war epic with extensive VFX. I am very excited about it as it’s about the 1962 Indo-China war. We have an ensemble cast including Mahi Gill, Sumeet Vyas, Abhay Deol and many others.