Sayani Gupta needs no introduction! She is a woman whose strength inspires many. From being a quintessential Bollywood belle to being bold enough to ace a bald look, the damsel gets into the skin of the character and that is why she has made it in the big league in no time. While her attitude is savage, her heart is pure gold!
The star rose to fame with her stellar performances in Fan, Jolly LLB 2, Article 15, Jagga Jasoos, Baar Baar Dekho, and more. She has also kept fans hooked on her with her immensely popular series on Amazon Prime - Four More Shots Please! and Inside Edge.
Apart from that, the bold and vivacious actor was lauded globally for her performance as a blind gay activist in Margarita with a Straw. She has been a part of many big budget Bollywood films, web series and short movies.
While she has often proved her mettle as an actress, little do we know about her personal side and the kind of traveller she is, considering she has often said that she has a thing for travel, art, dance, music and photography.
Well, in an exclusive chat with us, Sayani spoke extensively about her travel diaries which will leave you intrigued and impressed.
Take whims from her, add a little courage to it and leave for the adventure of your life!
Born and brought up in Kolkata, then moving to Delhi thereafter to Pune and finally settling in Mumbai. What has been the impact of these places in India on your personality?
Nothing is as satisfying as food for the people in Kolkata. Like every Bengali, I also live to eat. A big time foodie in me is because of Kolkata. Delhi had a huge impact on my personality. Whilst studying at LSR, I came across some brilliant and creative people and you cannot deny the company of creative folks can totally transform you for good. In Delhi, I discovered that all my dreams are achievable, those were the enabling years when I found my wings to fly. Three and half years in Pune were a kind of reality check for me. FTII in itself is a microcosm where I evolved at my own pace. It gave me a kind of space to nurture my dreams. The fast-paced life in Mumbai trains you to hustle up. As it is rightly said, ‘Mumbai is the city of dreams,’ -I would say, Mumbai is a place where my dreams are turning into reality. Slowly and steadily, I am paving my way to touch as many hearts with my craft.
Basics from Kolkata. Confidence from Delhi. Precision from Pune. Conviction from Mumbai.
: You must have travelled extensively around the world. What makes India unique?
There are not one but many things that I feel are exclusive to a country that comprises 29 countries in one. I don’t call them states of India but to me they are countries. We are so fortunate to be in India where after every 500 meter - culture, language, cuisine, topography; a complete lifestyle diversifies. Geographically also if we see, India has myriad landscapes. Be it mountains, rivers, grasslands, plains, deserts, forests; you name it and it's there. Despite being densely populated and so diverse, it is unbelievably heterogeneous. And the best part is, you travel from North to South and then East to West, you surely would gather as many life experiences that you probably won’t experience travelling the whole world.
You have been a rolling stone so you must be having many travel stories, if you can share one travel memory that is close to your heart?
I remember doing a Travel Show for Doordarshan, Yeh India Meri Jaan. I traveled for 5 months on a stretch and we explored a lot of remote places in North India. The show acquainted me with heaven on earth, Kashmir. With the sound of gushing water, aroma of pine trees, the vibrancy of saffron - Kashmir is the delicate reminder that poetry does not always need words. Kashmir is not just a piece of land but an emotion. I cannot forget the enriching incident whilst camping at Patnitop when the nomads cooked some dish with wild grass and tomatoes and served us on the leaves. Food only tastes good when it is served with love. To cherish all these moments, visiting Kashmir once every year has become a ritual for me.
Simplicity, human contact, and warmth - the kind of magic that people can do to you is something that touches me deeply.
: Actors have a hectic schedule and it must be taking a toll sometimes. What are the activities you indulge in to gather yourself back?
I like to unwind myself with the short trips depending upon my shoots. Traveling and dancing are two of my favorite indulgences. Also, I am moved by art, I can admire the beauty for hours. The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. My greatest indulgence is food; food for shizzle feeds my soul. And of course, sleep. With my back to back work commitments I stay sleep deprived. I try to get enough sleep to gather myself back.
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we should work, travel, dance and admire the beauty.
: You being a celebrity, it must be difficult for you to travel. Which are your safe havens in India and why?
Apart from going to Kashmir once a year, I often go to Kamshet which is 3 hours drive from Mumbai. We have our theatre artist’s residency where people from all disciplines be it dance, films or fine arts meet, interact and sound ideas. The pristine location of the residency which is nestled by the lake is very calming. And my recent favorite is Sikkim, some connections are profound. I have been there three times in 2 months, the surreal beauty of Sikkim cannot be denied. The scenic beauty and laid back vibe for sure nudges your senses.
: We are already drooling over your looks and bold style statements. We would be glad if you could share your travel styles with us?
Since childhood, I have had this obsessive-compulsive disorder for comfort. So I usually play around with my perky self keeping comfort in mind. My sartorial choices are simple; loose denims, hoodies, comfortable dresses, jackets and sneakers are my hot picks. Playsuit is my all time favorite. Accessories uplifts the spunk, I prefer to accessorize with some classy pieces. And wearing sunglasses at the airport is absolutely bizarre fashion sense according to me as it grabs more attention than required.
Traveling with fewer plans, ample comfort-clothes, a pair of sneakers and utter freedom is my style statement.
: Women have apprehensions of traveling solo. What is your take on it?
In India, I cannot travel solo but my friends who travel solo, vouch for it. I have done solo traveling abroad multiple times and it’s my favorite thing to do. Whenever I travel abroad for a shoot, I prefer to stay back for a few days and explore the place by myself. The best part about traveling solo is that you are liberated. You are not bound to anybody else's mood. I like to stroll around without having any plans in my mind. I sit for hours at one place and sometimes I just walk the whole day. I restore myself when I am alone.
I don't want to just go on a vacation; I want to live on a vacation.
: Please share one travel story when you felt Nothing is Far?
We were shooting for Baar Baar Dekho in Glasgow, Scotland. It’s this pint-sized city that can be scouted in 6 to 8 hours. I remember strolling the entire day and exploring the city on foot was so fulfilling. I perhaps can say that in a minikin city like Glasgow, nothing is far. Another such moment for me was when we were shooting in Nepal in minus 7 degrees temperature. It was this one actor film which I co-produced as well. It’s one of the toughest shoots, a finger numbing experience for me. After those enduring 27 days walking in the snow, when we wrapped up and sat in the car, I realized why they say that the wheel is the greatest invention of mankind. I genuinely feel that when we are behind the wheel nothing is far.
: One actor, you can travel with
Kalki Koechlin. She is my favorite person.
: Destinations in your bucket list
I have traveled a lot in India so now it’s time for Greece, Iceland, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
: Food that you crave for
Aloo Posto and Bengali Biryani. I am truly Bengali by heart.
: Any interesting souvenir that you were gifted
Wall art from Turkey that has the calligraphic signature of a famous Sufi. Knowing my admiration for art, my hairstylist Deepali got this for me and it is there in my living room.
: Songs that you hear whilst traveling
I love Barfi and Karavan albums. All the numbers are soulful. I can hear them in loop.
: Circuit Planner or Travel Agent
Circuit Planner, of course! It’s super handy.
: Google Maps or Local folks
Google maps. I am terrible with directions and Google maps are a savior.
: Travel Essentials
Charger, Sanitizer, Tissue, Moisturizer, Wallet
: If you are intrigued by a blog at Adotrip, would you go by the information on the blog or you would book it with a travel agent?
I definitely get intrigued by travel blogs because they offer real-time stories. I start making notes with the information on the blogs and then I connect with my traveler friends to figure out more details.
: Having boarded the plane you realize that you left your mobile phone at home, what would you do?
Forget about the phone! If leaving your mobile phone freaks you out then you must definitely leave aside your phone to enjoy a digitally detoxifying vacation. It’s admittedly tough however, it works wonders to disconnect from the world to connect with thyself.
:If you get 15 days off from your hectic work life, how would you like to spend that time?
How I wish! I would love to travel with my mother and take her to Kerala and Udaipur. Kerala being God's own country and Udaipur known as a City of Lakes, although poles apart, I would still want to experience the ecstasy of being in both the heavens in these 15 days. Travelling with Ma would be a bliss.
:You are an actor and you travel to many exotic destinations. If you are asked to travel to a remote place in India, where would you like to go?
Anytime to amazing Jharkhand! I have been there already, however, revisiting this untouched virginal land would be a delight. Verdant green vistas, heart-stopping waterfalls and delicious food, Jharkhand is one of the richest states in India in terms of natural beauty and delicacies.
Well, that is it from Sayani! What more to say? The actress has said it all as she poured out her love for India. Doesn’t it feel really good to embrace different cultures just as the stunner who personifies grace and humility.
The travel interviews of celebrities with Trip Talkies for shizzle would fuel the wanderlust in you.Still pondering? Go travel and witness ‘Nothing is Far’! To know more about how celebrities travel, stay tuned to Adotrip.