Jun 052013

Bollywood Style Trekking in Himalayas-Jara Hatke Review of Movie Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani

So we watched Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani. Before you ask let me clarify this is not a movie review of the movie Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. The movie is actually pretty good and we enjoyed watching it, once I asked both my right and left brain to take a hike in the Himalayas marching left right left right.

You see that is where my problem begins. I have absolutely no issue with parts of the movie being absolutely filmy. I don’t care if Deepika Padukone wears a mini skirt from her class five to a train ride and climbs to upper birth. I can forgive the poor little rich boy K Jo, the producer of the movie, for not knowing that Indian girls do not climb top birth in train wearing miniskirts. OK stop drooling and get back to the blog post, we are discussing serious stuff here.

It is totally director Ayan Mukherjee’s prerogative to make Dippy wear blouses in a marriage that are smaller than most women will not even wear on a beach. How do I know? Oh, come on I have attended more marriages than wedding sequences in K Jo’s and Rajshree movies combined. Ok, I exaggerate, but you get the essence?   I have also attended some international marriages in New York as well as in Pondicherry where the guest list had passports from 20+ nations. I can understand it is a movie and the director has to cater to all classes and hence the poor Dippy has to wear blouses giving competition to the thin ties that Ranbir wears in a foot-tapping number, a tribute to late Shammi Kapoor.  No, I am not even going to talk that we are supposed to believe that this marriage is happening in Udaipur in December when the temperatures are close to freezing. But why would Deepika feel cold? Everybody in the movie keeps the fire burning by guzzling the daroo  (alcohol) supplied for product placement.

Tents for Trekking In Himalayas

Tents For trekking Look Romantic in Moonlight  

K Jo must have recovered most of his money before release by all kind of product placement in the movie from every product and brand you can imagine. So he must have decided that there is no need for a story in the movie. Aray bhai why do you need a story for a wedding of a friend?

 You see Dippy makes us believe that going on a trek in the Himalayas is like going to your best friend’s wedding. All you need to do is put on some clothes (the less the better), and show up, no need for a backpack, trekking shoes, compass, maps or even train tickets.

You don’t have to go through the hassle of booking tickets (somebody please tell the Bollywood wallahs how tough it is to book a tatkal train ticket . Now my problem gets even more serious, and as somebody who volunteers for the most active adventure club in India GHAC, I start pulling my hair out.

How to read a map on hiking

Normal trekkers need to consult a map to find the route, not Bollywood

But you may say chill man why are you worried desi? Well, I will tell you why. You see in India we have two role models Bollywood stars and cricket stars. Now the cricketers have booked their place in Tihar by sleeping with the bookies so  Bollywood remains the only icon we can look at as of now.

Now just imagine a would-be Bride calling her would be Trek partner I mean life partner….

Jaanoo, cancel those tickets to Goa, let us go to Manali and go for trekking in the Himalayas”

“ Sure honey, we will sleep in tents  that look sooo romantic and you will look sooo hot in those hot pants and short skirt “

Oh Jaanoo I can’t wait for trekking in the moonlight to the top of the mountain ”

Or one day when you are on a trek and your guide announces:

Welcome to this trek to Manali,  where   Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani  was filmed,  ( It  was actually shot in Gulmarg Kashmir). And today in our trek we have Babita from Bhandup, Guddi from Gaziabad, Karan, Arjun, Raju, Sunny, Bunny or Unke Mummy Papa and Dada Dadee  from Jhumri Telaiya. ( this is my Vividh bharti Kee Vigyapan Prasaran Sewa days child hood refusing to go away)

Now I am not trying to discourage the wannabe trekkers, on the contrary, I am all for all kind of outdoor activities like trekking, rock climbing, visiting wild life sanctuaries to watch tigers etc. But one needs to understand that a lot of it is real hard work and you need to sweat a lot even if you are trekking Sahib Style.

While the tents pitched in a mountain valley do look romantic in the moonlight, the fact is that somebody has to pitch them at 5000 ft above sea level when the wind can make your limbs numb in less than 5 minutes. Oh yes did I tell you that there is no running water in the tents and you need to , pick up a shovel go behind the bushes, dig a hole so that you can take your morning dump. I hope those hands with henna know how to dig a hole. No? No problem asks that guy with whom you just took 7 rounds around the fire to do it for you.

Now just recollect the fleeting scene where one of the characters( the so-called Bimbo?) whines about not washing hair for days and another (couch potato?) sick of eating noodles, dreaming about pizza. ( the movie uses brand placement here too…  😉  )

Got the picture? No, I do not want to scare you, I just want to make sure that you know what you are getting into. Trekking is serious business, not only it impacts you, but it also impacts the area you trek and unless  one is a responsible trekker, you can do a lot of damage to the fragile ecosystem of the Himalayas.


While our Bollywood couple climbs to the top of the hill in the moonlight, in reality, is you will get lost in less than 15 minutes without a map and compass. And if you plan to wear clothes similar to Deepika to those snow-clad peaks, trust me you will be dead as a dodo in 3 hours.  I have been to some easy treks in the Himalayas in places like Sikkim and Manali and in the US to Yosemite National Park  and trust me a trek, in reality, is very different from shown in the movie.  Don’t believe me? Read about some of these women who have been trekking regularly.

But my aim is not to discourage you to go on trekking, instead, I encourage you to join a good trekking and adventure club in your town like we have GHAC in Hyderabad. Once you learn, get strong and are hooked, go ahead plan your trek to the Himalayas or any place in the world.  Check this awesome Site by  Dheeraj Sharma for some reality check and inspirations about trekking the in the Himalayas.

Other awesome blogs about trekking that I read regularly

As for the movie except for the trekking part it is OK and is bound to be a blockbuster, so go ahead and watch it, just remember to ask your brain to take a hike in the Himalayas.

  56 Responses to “Trekking In Himalayas- Bollywood Style”

Comments (56)
  1. Loved reading it..and showing reality of trekking

  2. Very well written. Loved the tongue-in-cheek humour which should serve as a good dose of reality bytes.

  3. Ha ha 😀 Couldn’t stop laughing! Very well written Prasad ji. Everybody wanting to trek should read definitely read this! – the realities of a trek. My first Himalayan trek was in winter, where even breathing was a challenging task in the Kuari pass at night in the freezing weather 🙂

    • Thanks, Reshma. Exxactly the point I am trying to make it that Trekking is serious business, and one should research and prepare before going on treks. Just a few months ago a seasoned trekker lost his life, even with best of preparation because medical aid could not reach him on time due to bad weather. And two of my friends who are seasoned outdoor leaders got lost in Jungles of Karnataka, fortunately, both of them were well trained and survived. It also helped that it was not very cold in South India, had this been Himalayas thing could have taken an ugly turn.

  4. Hahaha! This is extremely funny. I know, I watched this movie and finally gathered wits to trek for the first time in Har KI Doon valley. Meri hadi pasli ek ho gayi 😀

  5. Did you know of a couple that climbed Mt. Everest one night in shorts and capri? Their romantic chemistry was so strong that they even lit a bonfire there using the sparks that flew between them. 😉

  6. Very good dig at the BW movies. They present such unrealistic scenes, they can never get anywhere near to HW movies.

  7. after reading this post ; itni hasssi kyu aa rahi hain Lol 🙂 lovely post !!

  8. Thank for the post. I too started fancying trekking only after watching this movie and that too in my Jawani (:-P I m 19 yrs old) …… Now I seriously need to understand and study the whole idea before I actually pursue it the next month.

  9. Coming back to this blog after a while and a good post here. Hiking in the mountains is serious business and the more one can get the word out, the better!

  10. Karan Johar’s movies are India’s version of Hollywood’s fantasy movies. Everyone knows its not real and people go for the “escape”… fancy dresses, perfect personalities, extravagant sets, exotic locations … everything about the movie and its characters is perfect. It targets and caters to a specific audience.

    The trekking scenes were truly spectacular and it ignited a fire in me to go to the Himalayas again. I know it doesn’t give a realistic picture but I doubt if anyone expects that… just like nobody will expect their wedding to be like in KJ movies (although they may wish)!

    • You will not believe how many people are now having weddings like in K Jo movies, with choreography, dance, themes, celebrity brides maid and what not! Same is happening in trekking also, a lot of people actually blindly believe what they see on big screen and go away from reality.

  11. hahaha! I’ve read so many ridiculous reviews about the movie that I don’t feel like watching it at all, although when the teasers first came out, I was looking forward to watching it.

    trekking and camping is not a sexy business at all, no matter what the movies say. But it is fun, nevertheless.

    • Actually the movie is OK, it is the trekking and hiking scenes that make you wonder if the director did any research on hiking and trekking. So many people are already calling their travel agent and asking ” I want to go trekking at the same place as Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani” , not knowing what they are getting into…. 🙁

  12. While watching most of our movies, we need to ask our brain to take a hike to Himalayas. Nothing new.

    Now that you have awakened the interest, I am sure Ektaji or someone will have a reality show on trekking, and add more to the already beleaguered hills.And you will be the target of wrath from our eco friendly junta.

    A very nice post , laughed and enjoyed. Dheeraj Sharma is my favourite.

    • So true! I only wish that people are more responsible when they go out in nature. Just the other day saw an Idiot in a big car throwing cans out on road. Just imagine what he will do if he goes in Jungle…

  13. Looks damn good! thanks for the share 🙂

  14. cant comment about movies but yes trekking is one of the adventure where a person had dreamed about .

  15. may be we have to see the movie to know how different it is from real trekking. your write up has made me want to try trekking in some unknown terrain…

    • Hi Menaka: Once prepared, trekking is a good activity, the challenge comes as a lot of people want to trek just because the they saw it in movie. It is not like you are going to see the Taj. Thanks

  16. Ha ha, totally loved this post! I haven’t seen the movie but I was cringing when I heard the duo sneaks in the night to reach some super tough peak and all that. It must’ve been hilarious to see the woman trekking in shorts knowing how cold it can get while trekking in the Himalayas. Also reminds me how Ranbir Kapoor becomes a photographer by clicking feet in Wake up Sid. We need more posts like this. 🙂

    Thanks for the mention btw. 🙂

  17. Haha. Shrewd post, buddy. It should be shown as part of the disclaimer before the movie! Quite ‘gently’ it shreds the many Bollywood tropes to pieces. I did not have any immediate plans of watching it but now I just might go and get a good laugh, and gape at Deepika’s micro blouses.
    And I like the bit about responsible travel; it is so important for people to understand and accept that. Keep them coming.

  18. I have not seen the picture yet but I can imagine what it must look like. Bollywood people are interesting species, they get by by showing any kind of stuff – practical or not. I wish they could get their basics right, would make the whole experience of the movie so much more enriching. Wonderful write-up and the moonlight picture is awesome! 🙂

  19. Well, I havent watched the movie yet… But thoroughly enjoyed your article… Its true what you wrote about travelling in trains… And I can guarantee too that girls never wear mini – skirts in train… At the most they might wear shorts… but there is a huge difference between shorts and skirts…. 🙂

  20. If you know that it is a formula KJo movie, then leave ur brains behind, no? Enjoyed your writing Prasad. I couldn’t leave my brains behind while watching the movie and was so agonized. Grrr…

  21. Thoroughly enjoyed the post…. The picture of the tents in moonlight is looking great, as if taken under neon light…. A nice read also….. Thanks for the share……………….

  22. I saw the movie and was wondering about the same, the mountain climbing in the night was so lame 🙁

  23. The real picture here. Bollywood movies planning some hike scenes should do some homework here.

    Crisp writing, Prasad. Reading this felt so good. I was reminded of your air-travel post; one of the first few posts of yours that I ever read. 🙂

  24. Loved your post!! 😀

  25. I am still a trekking enthusiast, very far away from an expert. However I enjoyed this post which describes the real trekking experience for us.

  26. thanks for discussing the true picture of trekking quite contrast to the bollywood trekking 🙂 Enjoyed the read with giggles !! 😀

  27. This is by far one of your most fascinatingly quirky write ups and you are finally breaking your shackles to bring out the best that’s already in you :p….loved every bit of it and btw Mr.Chief minister of Kashmir is very upset with Kjo baby for taking away his opportunity of tourism bloom through trekking by showcasing Gulmerg as Manali!

    • Thanks Sumana… glad you enjoyed. Yes I see no reason why Gulmarg should be shown as Manali, when Shammi, Shashi, and Rishi the Kapoor Khandaan heroes have danced on these very slopes earlier.

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