Relived my childhood during 25-day shoot

Pankaj says filming Sherdil in the Sunderbans reminded him of his growing-up days spent in the lap of nature

Pankaj Tripathi

For long, Pankaj Tripathi wanted to collaborate with filmmaker Srijit Mukherji. Happy as he was that Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga realised his wish, the actor says that his love for wildlife was the key reason to say yes to the project. “As humans, we should have sympathy and affection for nature and wildlife. I was always aware that we need to [be more mindful] towards animals, but after this film, my awareness has only increased,” he says. The satire, also starring Neeraj Kabi and Sayani Gupta, is inspired by how poverty-stricken villagers near the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve would send their elderly family members to the forest as prey for tigers so that they could claim compensation. In bringing the story to the screen, the director wants to highlight the man-animal conflict. Tripathi emphasises, “We must worry about nature and wildlife the way we worry about our kids, their health and education. [Maintaining a balanced ecosystem] is crucial for the future of our children.”

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For the actor who was born in Gopalganj and spent his childhood in the lap of nature, filming in the dense jungles of Sunderbans took him back to his growing-up days. “Shooting for this film was a nostalgic experience. I felt as if I relived my childhood days during the 25-day shoot,” he says.

Also Read: ‘Srijit places his faith in his actors’

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