On Aneesha Baig’s ‘Will Travel For Food’

One afternoon about a couple of months back I got a dm on twitter, ‘Hi, wanted to speak to you. This is my number….is this a good time” @AneeshaBaig

The name was familiar. This was the lady who night after night would bring in the world of fashion and Bollywood and their many parties into our drab drawing rooms through a show called Night Out on NDTV24X7. Since then she had moved on to a food and travel show on the same channel called Will Travel For Food.

I called up Aneesha and within a few minutes it seemed as if were friends who were catching up on a conversation that we had left unfinished a couple of hours back. Aneesha told me that she was doing a features with bloggers and she had just shot with Shaheen of Purple Foodie and wanted to shoot with me too. The focus of the show would be about how blogger’s have become big source of credible information for people looking for places to eat in or go to while travelling. Dusk became late evening as we chatted on our favourite food spots while deciding on where we could shoot the next day. Funny given that we hadn’t even ever interacted on social media till two hours back, let alone in real life.

We met the next day in front of Imbiss in Bandra. Two strangers greeting each other big grins. We shot there with Bruce and then we moved on to Bong Bong where we shot with Surjopriya. We shot over about three hours that afternoon. During the course of the afternoon I increasingly got the feeling that in the best traditions of  Hindi cinema Aneesha and I were twins who had been separated in the Kumbh Mela.

Thankfully we didn’t forget to shoot while we excitedly chatted about topics ranging from how we don’t miss Indian food while travelling abroad as we seek out new experiences, our shared love for Far Eastern food, the extents to which we gone to carry food produce back from our travels, our attempts to diet (I used to once), our realisation that Bengali food is always served lukewarm in houses, our love for the old restaurants of Mumbai and our guilty love for good red meat, specially the kakuni in Kofuku which had first drawn Aneesha’s eyes to Finely Chopped.

In retrospect one realised how good a producer and anchor Aneesha is as she put one completely at ease and one didn’t notice when the camera would come on as we chatted and when it would disappear. It seemed so seamless and natural…and in the middle of all this, Aneesha and her cameraman got some pretty good food shots.

I later precociously told the much seasoned Aneesha that she was so good that she reminded me of the producer of the Tremendous International crew with whom I had shot the Mumbai street food episode for the Travel Channel USA. And they had an army of international and local crew while Aneesha had just one camera man.

With great humility Aneesha asked me when the show aired on NDTV24X& in February this year if I liked it. She seemed genuinely anxious to get my feedback which was amazing that she is obviously a much accomplished, seasoned pro. Something to learn from.

Well, just a couple of hours left for the day to end but HAPPY BIRTHDAY Aneesha and thanks for the wonderful afternoon.   

You could click on the link here for the segment that Aneesha and I shot together.

This is the link to the entire episode.

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