Actress Neeta Pillai came to the limelight with her role in the Malayalam movie Poomaram and the debutant's performance was widely appreciated. Later, Neeta stunned the audience with her action moves as the leading lady in Abrid Shine's 'The Kung Fu Master.' Neeta is now among the few actresses in Malayalam to shine in an action role.
Apart from films, travel is another activity Neeta loves to indulge in. The celebrity has been fortunate to visit several destinations in India and abroad as part of film shooting as well as otherwise.
Speaking to Manorama about her travel experiences, Neeta reveals that she travelled a lot since a young age with her family. "Visiting new places; enjoying new sights, and meeting new people have always been thrilling," she says.
Moreover, a journey is the best remedy for the stress in daily life, adds Neeta. "The mind becomes totally free while travelling and so I plan a memorable trip every year, especially with some close friends," she says.
These friends live in various parts of the world and everyone travels to a select place for a get-together. "Then, we set out on a trip together. However, it will not be a long journey but usually involves staying at a resort beside the backwaters for three-four days and enjoying the picturesque scenery," says Neeta.
While every journey offers unique experiences, there is more thrill if some adventure is also involved, according the actress. "I have travelled to Delhi, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, and Chandigarh. Moreover, from Bengaluru, where I studied, there were biking trips and hiking expeditions with friends. I also loved adventure journeys," she says.
"Among our regular destinations was Savandurga, a hill 54 km from Bengaluru. At 1,226 m above sealevel, it is one of the highest monolithic rocks in Asia," informs Neeta. Sights there include beautiful hills and serene temples, she continues.
Another memorable journey with friends was to Kashmir. "Not much planning was involved in this trip. In fact, we changed several trains in order to reach the northern state from Bengaluru. A lot of risk was involved but it was a thrilling adventure," says the celebrity.
The experiences during the shoot of 'The Kung Fu Master' at some exotic locations were also interesting. The film was shot over 170 days at places such as Badrinath, Indo-China border, Uttarakhand and a number of picturesque valleys in the Himalayas.
"Shooting was possible only between 10 am and 4 pm due to heavy snowfall and extreme weather conditions. The falling snow would soon turn into solid ice and even walking on the surface was difficult as it was veryj slippery," recalls the actress.
Neeta also suffered some injuries during the action scenes and was thoroughly exhausted. "But all the despair vanished during dubbing as the visuals were amazing. One would never get tired watching the scenery," she says.
The shooting of the climax scene was unforgettable. "This was because Joshimath witnessed the heaviest snowfall in around six years when we reached there. As a result, no vehicle would travel up to the spot selected for shooting the climax. So, we had to carry the camera, all the other equipment and food on foot for about four km. Every actor, technician and others in our team had to get involved. After the shooting, we had to carry all this stuff again back the entire distance up to the place where the vehicles were parked," says Neeta.
The actress also visited Rishikesh while shooting for 'The Kung Fu Master.' "That trip also would be etched in my mind forever. I was especially moved by the sight of 'Ganga arathi' (lighting of lamps on the banks of the Ganga). The spirituality of the moment touched my heart," she says.
In fact, Neeta loves to be close to nature. "Kuttanad is one of my favourite destinations. Living in a house on the banks of the lake in Kuttanad is my dream," reveals the star.
Love for islands
Neeta has been to places such as the UK, America, and Thailand. "But it is while travelling to islands that I have enjoyed the most. I don't plan a dream journey but an island thrills me utmost," she says.
After travelling a lot with family, friends and groups, Neeta feels she should now travel solo. "By visiting places alone, I can learn more about the culture and places of interest at the destination, which could be a village in India or an island," she concludes.