Garden of Eden

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 22.08.08

One in a sparkling white salwar kameez and the other in a bright yellow chiffon. The spotlight was on two cheerleaders of a very different kind on the Eden Gardens lawns this cloudy Monday afternoon.

Tall palm trees formed the perfect backdrop for Swastika Mukherjee (in salwar kameez) and Rachana Banerjee (in chiffon sari) to serenade the lush greens during a Holi sequence for Raj Mukherjee’s Lakshyabhed.

Between prancing around trees, the two leading ladies found the time to rib the director about a song sequence supposed to be shot on a Thai beach. “Are you sure we will shoot in Pattaya? Once we were supposed to shoot in Singapore but ended up shooting in Santragachhi. The only similarity was the ‘S’,” pointed out Swastika, dissolving into peals of laughter.

But she did not have much to smile about in the muggy garden of Eden. “It’s so hot and stuffy here. We’ve been shooting since morning…. But it’s my first time here, I didn’t even know this place existed,” said Swastika, who plays Rachana’s younger sister Bokul and falls in love with Rachana’s mentally challenged brother-in-law.

Her on-screen sibling and off-screen friend seemed far happier about shooting at Eden. “It’s good fun shooting here for the first time. I am tired of going to Gupta Garden in Aamtala and Lake Land Country Club off Howrah for song sequences. Whenever we have to shoot a song, the venue is a major concern. We waste a lot of time deciding on the venue. This garden is sprawling and lush, which can be a good backdrop for song sequences,” reasoned Rachana, who plays Mukul, the wife of Tapas Pal.

Shooting in the garden area of Eden Gardens comes easy. All one needs to do is submit an application to the forest department in advance. And it’s cheap too — Rs 2,500 for an entire day’s shoot!

“I have shot for two other films here and I like this place. There are no time-consuming formalities involved and the location is good. Since it is spread across a huge area we can utilise each part as a separate location. Though my film is a family drama revolving around two sisters and brothers, I want good locations for the songs,” explained Raj.