Sat Sri Akal!
That's hello/goodbye/goodnight, etc. Do you know there isn't a Punjabi phrase for Good Night? Strange. :)
Let's see...today is the 8th. First day of filming was yesterday! And what an experience!
It started at 4 AM...make-up and hair came to my room at 5 and we headed to location at 6. This was for my jogging sequence. Luckily I did all my jogging before it got too hot. Later in the day, just standing there I was melting. Literally. I had to get major touch-ups between every take!
When I woke up yesterday morning, my throat was a little sore. That's always where my colds start, so I thought I'd better knock it out quick. Everything was fine on the set until lunch (around 1.30-ish). I felt it. Ugh. Luckily, I was finished for the day. By the time I got back to the hotel, my cold was in full force! It didn't stop me from shopping at Big Bazaar, but the rest of the day was spent in bed flipping through the TV channels. I was miserable.
I'm doing better now, so I'm hoping later today I'll be up to snuff. I told Ish to strangle Lakhwinder for me!
I'm hungry! It's almost 8 AM, but breakfast, much like dinner, is served late. So I'm sitting here, listening to the horns in traffic, and the whir of my glorious AC. :)
Oh! How could I forget?! I'm sitting down between takes yesterday, sipping some water and getting my make-up touched up, when a huge, gorgeous elephant strolls through the set! I want to ride an elephant and a camel while I'm here, so I was thrilled to see her! Him? He had beautiful stencils all over him, and I got to get my picture taken with him. He wrapped his trunk around me, it was wonderful! One of the pictures shows him grabbing my boob—I didn't even notice it at the time. It made my day, though. (The elephant, not the boob-grab.) How often do elephants just stroll through your life?
I told you in my last blog that I wanted fans. I have some now! Two of them! One gentlemen at the market where we were filming kept coming up and talking to me and introduced me to his mom. He wanted my address, but I gave him my email. He wanted to make sure that I would respond, and he was going to go write me when he got home. I told him I don't have internet access very often, but assured him I'd respond. :)
And later on another gentlemen asked for my autograph! So...outside of theatre productions and my dad...that was my very first autograph-seeker. :)
What else has been going on...? Ah—Lakhwinder, Manpreet, and I headed further into Ludhiana to go to one of the gurudwaras. (They're found about half a mile apart from each other.) Lakhwinder drove his fancy tinted-windows car, and I sat in the back chanting, “Waheguru, waheguru!” It made him laugh. “Waheguru” is sort of like, “Oh, my God.” You use it as a term of reverence or as we use “Oh, my God!” So while freaking out in the back seat, I chanted!
The first gurudwara was packed, and outside in the shoe removal place, both of the boys had to stop for pictures and autographs and talking with fans.
Lakhwinder is a very famous Sufi singer over here, coming from a long line of Sufi singers, and Manpreet just finished a movie called “Sat Sri Akal,” where he was the first Sikh playing the hero. It's a big deal. Normally they have non-Sikhs playing Sikhs, and it's pretty obvious because of the beards. And even then, they're not really the lead.
We headed across the street to the BIG gurudwara, so I got to worship at both. The second was massive, and very elaborate. It had a guy reciting from the book—I got some video from the outside. And video of Manpreet's fans. The kids loved him—but they weren't interested in Lakhwinder there, so he and I had fun watching all the kids.
After that, we did some shopping for costumes and props, a bit. I found a t-shirt that said “Come, let's learn Punjabi!” and had the alphabet and various other sayings. It made me laugh, so I bought it.
Okay, I'm getting a sinus headache...and I think I'll go in search of food. It might still be too early. Oh, by the way, I'm off today. No filming for me! Good thing...I can take time to get better. But I know soon we'll be filming a big action sequence which will be choreographed and involve a lot of people! Some bad guys are after me and get to me in the middle of a big guru-parade (for lack of a better term). I won't tell you what happens, though. :) You'll just have to see the movie!
Later that day...
Okay, so Ish just called me and told me we have a press conference today. Aack! My eyes are bloodshot with bags underneath, my nose is raw and red...well, of course we have a press conference! ;) I'm a little nervous...okay, no, I'm freaking out a bit inside. This is my first press conference, and most of it will be in another language! I have no idea what to expect, but I'm excited. This is incredible!
Two months ago I was sitting on my sofa wishing something would happen. Now it has! Almost in the blink of an eye, I'm in a new life.
Later that evening:
Wow. That was fun!
They were actually filming a scene in the movie with my picture blown up in the background... Holy cow, was that a little odd! Anyway, while that was going on, I had interviews with a bunch of people from the press. And thousands of pictures! Finally!!! I'll get enough pictures of myself! Tee-hee! Traveling with Andy is difficult, because he doesn't like to take pictures or be in them!
Not that I'll see most of these pictures, mind you.
The first interview was one-on-one, with me sat in a wicker chair. It got quite “heavy,” as Marty McFly would say. The interviewer asked me what I felt about Sikh terrorists in the US, and what I thought about global terrorism and all kinds of things like that. How on Earth does one answer a question like that?! I did my best...and am proud to say I didn't put my foot in my mouth at all—not once! (It's a miracle!) At one point I had to say that I didn't know enough about it to comment.
The other interviews were more light-hearted. * whew * Lots of questions about my character and how I liked India, etc. Nothing out of the ordinary.Though I'll admit I got stuck when asked who my favourite Bollywood actor and actress were! Oops. I couldn't remember the actor's name, so I told them the movies I'd seen him in. And for the women, I said they were all so gorgeous, I couldn't choose just one!
Oh! I saw a paper today...and my picture was in it! I was jogging—and I didn't look half-bad. No pansy-ness. :) The article was in Gurmukhi script, so I have no clue what it said.
I'm staring at the card Mom gave me before I left. I have it propped up on my little table. It made me cry when I opened it, and I like to keep it with me.
“When pride in yourself is the wind for your wings, how high and how far you can soar.
When hope and hard work are the sails of your ship. What remarkable worlds you'll explore...
When dreams are the stars that you never lose sight of in spite of the dark or distress,
In time you'll discover, wherever life takes you, the treasure your heart calls success.”
What is today...? Saturday, the 10th of October!
Yesterday was a lot of fun. Lakhwinder and I had driving scenes to shoot all morning, so we headed out into a village. It was really awesome getting to see more of the countryside. It really is very beautiful, and the Punjabi people are incredibly nice. I was able to use one of the villager's toilets, even. :)
I'm afraid I have not made much headway in keeping India green! Everybody just throws everything on the ground...it's quite shocking. I throw mine away, unless I can't find a bin. Then I keep it with my stuff till I get home.
Last night we shot in a shopping centre, where hundreds of onlookers stood by for hours and hours. :) Kind of funny. We never even got to my scene!
We all came home—it was around 1.30 AM—and they all had dinner! Dinner! At 1.30 in the morning! A few of us sat out in the lobby talking, and then we headed to bed.
Learning more and more Punjabi, but that's not saying much! Do you remember when I said, “ki ddang, kukard?!” was like, “What's up, friend?” Well, I've been saying it all over...and even to the press when they asked me for some Punjabi phrases. I assumed the odd expressions I was getting were because of my American accent, but no. No. I've been saying, “What's up, chicken?!” this whole time!!! I strangled Manpreet, so all is good. :) Ti ke!
We've been in the papers several times already. I always think I look fat, but then, Navneet thinks she does, too. :) Girls. What can you do?
Got my first fan mail!
I should probably answer it. :)
Besides, Andy said my last blog was way too long, and I need to keep them shorter! ;)
I'll work on finding a way to get pics and videos posted...no promises, though!
Having a blast—something new everyday! Cast and crew are wonderful...
Love to you all!