Nandini Rai, who’s been shooting non-stop post the pandemic, finally found time to go on a 20-day rejuvenating trip to Ladakh along with her friends. Describing her journey as blissful and serene, she says how she’d found people constantly writing about Ladakh, which she found fascinating.
“Since I’ve never been to Ladakh, I decided to go there this time,” explains Nandini, who prefers the mountains to beaches and has been to Kashmir and Manali previously. “I love mountains; they bring me peace. In fact, I have a phobia of water, so I don’t even get into a pool.”
Initially, when Nandini landed in Ladakh, she suffered from an oxygen problem probably because she’d travelled all the way from the south to the north. Despite the oxygen issue, the actress instantly fell in love with Ladakh’s beauty. “I’d experienced bliss while moving around the Indus River and Hunder Sand Dunes (the coldest desert in India).
“The weather was unpredictable; while it was humid during the mornings, it used to be chilly by evenings. I have never seen sand become like ice. My hands were literally freezing,” she rattles away recalling her experiences. So while she and her friends wanted to try their hand at river rafting and paragliding, they were smart to back off from the plans owing to unpredictable weather.
While during the day she used to visit new places, such as going through the highest passes like Khardung La and Chang La, which gave her a new high, during nights, they used to be accommodated in local houses.
The royal touch
Nandini’s trip also included a visit to Turtuk Village, at the border, which is, incidentally, India’s last village on the map. She reveals that she even visited the palace of the last king of Turtuk, who belongs to the Yabgo Dynasty.
Apparently, Pangong Lake, which is half in India and half in China, was a spectacle. “It was so beautiful and crystal clear. And just as I was also told that the colour of the lake changes according to the atmosphere and cloud moment, the water was blue during the night and changed to light green during the daytime,” she elaborates.
“It felt surreal because it seemed like there was no COVID-19 there; the air and water was so pure and I spent around 10 days in nature’s lap. I made a lot of memories in this trip, all of which have become a lifetime memory,” the actress says, signing off.
An unscheduled Rakshabandhan stop
Nandini’s trip was originally scheduled till 31st August, but she cut it short for Rakshabandhan, a day she ensures she ties rakhi on her older brother, Kumar.
“Rakshabandhan is a huge tradition in my family; so this rakhi (which is a Sunday), I’ll be landing in Hyderabad and straightaway heading to my brother’s house,” she reveals.
The actress then shares an interesting tradition her brother and she follow — the siblings go to a photo studio to get clicked; then, they print those photos and upload them in their album called Rakhi Bandhan.
“That’s something we have been practising since childhood. No matter how many pics we have in our mobile, we still continue that practise,” she says, describing her brother as very close to her. “I can be myself with him and I open up to him more than I do with my parents. He’s very protective, and at times, he behaves like my father,” she smiles.