Child of the Mountains

Child of the Mountains
Himalayan Diaries: Amit Sadh in Manali,

The actor tells Outlook Traveller about his love for travel, bikes and why he absolutely loves the mountains

Karan Kaushik
December 26 , 2020
15 Min Read

Calling 2020 as the year of Amit Sadh would not be an exaggeration. The actor has had a fantastic year with hit web shows like Breathe and Avrodh and movies like Shakuntala Devi and Yaara. He also won the Filmfare OTT Award for the Best Supporting Actor for Breathe and he is absolutely ecstatic.

For us, Sadh is someone who has an undying love for travel. This year too, despite the pandemic, he did manage to travel for work and vacation.

We caught up with the actor to know more about his upcoming projects, his love for travel and riding, and why he calls himself a child of the mountains.

Here are excerpts from the interview.

You just won the Filmfare OTT Award for Breathe and you have had an incredible year with shows like Avrodh. How do you feel? How was the experience of working in Breathe?
It feels good when all the hard work you put in, is recognised by your peers and the fans/admirers and audiences. I guess it means your work is impacting people, which is the reason why we do what we do. Breathe was a pleasure to work on, as always. A great team working on an incredible show.

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Every season, they challenge me in different ways, which is great as an actor, as sometimes when you sign any work you are not supported or encouraged by your team. And all the compliments go to the great writing that goes behind all the work I am doing... it’s all team work. And a lot of intent to do better, do more and dig more so that we can create, impact and effect. 

How did you manage to stay positive when the pandemic hit us and the lockdown was announced?
With all due respect, I think we actors are blessed and most of us were fine. But I think we should be directed towards those who really suffered. Like the frontline workers, people who lost their jobs, farmers who met the increase in demand, the nurses and doctors who worked so hard throughout. They are the real heroes, and we should be asking them and sharing their stories of how they literally kept us alive during this pandemic. And honestly they were the real inspiration for all of us throughout the pandemic.

Did you have to cancel any trips because of the pandemic? I heard you were supposed to attend a workshop in New York?
Yes, but it’s not that big a deal. I was fortunate to travel a little, but I was focused on trying to help and reach out to people that were really hit by the pandemic. And specially stuck together with my team and loved ones. Sometimes just doing that much is enough, by taking care of people around you. And a lot of people around me did that to each other, so I am proud and happy to witness that.

Tell us about your upcoming show Zidd. You shot for it in Himachal this year. How was the experience, where all did you visit, where did you stay? 
It’s a story of a soldier who goes through a tragic event in his life, resulting in him having to rehabilitate himself, through the help of people around him to get back on his feet and finding a purpose to life. It was a great experience. These are the kind of roles I love, because my research took me to meet some incredible people. I met with people who have lost limbs but they have come out stronger, their vision and will towards life has become stronger.

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And with so much resilience, the never give up attitude ... These people are heroes. They just get on with it. Their outlook towards life is very inspiring and it makes you really see your own so called ‘problems’ aren’t problems but they’re just inconveniences at best. Also one of the high points of being a part of Zidd was collaborating with a great team of people from informant and behind the camera

Did you embark on a trek during your Himachal visit? Which are your favourite treks to do in India?
We did a bit of trekking whilst in Himchal, but I was mostly there for work and was trying to stay in character or work on character even on my off days. But, it is always lovely to visit that place.

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Tell us about your love for riding. Any favourite bikes? Which is your favourite road in India for a driving holiday?
It’s a thing that I do to relax, unwind and take my mind off things. It helps me get out of character after a movie or series. When you play certain characters, you become them for weeks and sometimes it’s hard getting out of that mental state. 

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Biking allows me to just become myself again, connect with great souls and passionate riders from across the world. As for locations, Patiala, Manali, Leh, Himchal all have great roads and scenery.... and down south around the Nilgiris.

India is beautiful. Just get out and see for your-self!

You rode a Ducati between Patiala and Manali. How was that experience like?

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It was exhilarating. The roads were beautiful, scenery was breathtaking and the people I met in some remote places, were the most hospitable I’ve ever met.

You called yourself a child of the mountains in one of your Instagram posts. How special are mountains to you and why?
I grew up around them and for me, they are one of the wonders of the world. You have to visit them just to understand how incredible and vast they are.

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You have become a fitness icon now. How do you mix travel and workout?
Fitness is a lifestyle choice for me. It’s just a daily task that I do, like eating lunch. I always find a way to get some sort of fitness activity in, be it sit ups, push up or going for a run. I can’t sleep without having done a bit of it.

I also feel, it is an over rated conversation. You just need to keep moving and be disciplined in your mind and body. And a lot can be achieved through that.. there is nothing complicated here.

Where do you head to for adventure activities in India?

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Usually the mountains. That's my go to place. Leh, the Ladhak region... the east (Sikkim, Shillong, Gangtok, Tawang, Mirik) is on my mind these days.

What took you to Dubai in the post pandemic world and how was the experience? 
I ended up going just for a break, because it was a quick flight and a few friends encouraged me to go. I cleared my mind preconceptions about the place and went there with an open mind. I was pleasantly surprised.

Dubai is known for all the amazing things and cool crowd but there is just so much more to it. The place has so much of discipline. I met some of the most amazing people, went to some cool places, and even got to experience some proper Arab culture. It’s grown on me now.

What was it like travelling in a pandemic?
A little different with all the social distancing measures in place, but you definitely appreciate it more when you’ve not been allowed to travel for so long. It really makes you open your eyes and you take in a lot more. You spend more time looking up than down at your phone.

What do you love the most about travelling? What are the lessons that travelling has taught you?
Experiencing different cultures and ways of life. I like to learn about the country and their way of living and I take all the good bits and incorporate them into my life. I also love meeting people from all walks of life and talking to them.

What's your favourite travel destination in India and around the globe? 
Dubai has grown on me. New York, London are places which I have a lot of amazing memories  But I love any place where you can just go on off road adventure. Where there isn’t a dress code to follow. All that is required is an open mind and a ‘yes’ attitude.

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And in India... just pick your bags and see the magic and the beauty. Despite your complexities and problems, there is none other than our motherland. The vast richness of culture, people and changing regions makes India my favourite place to travel. It will take a few life times to discover it.

Could you recommend some good road trips in India for our readers?
Manali, Leh and Himchal are my favs. Also the road from Mumbai to Goa. Go to the east, try the Nilgiris... Just get out and see the beautiful sunrises and the sunsets. This beautiful country has a lot to offer!

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