The web series The Trip puts four women on a bachelorette trip from Delhi to Thailand. Sapna Pabbi, last seen in 24, is yoga aficionado and control freak Sanjana; Mallika Dua is Nazia, a Delhi resident with a batty sense of humor; Shweta Tripathi gets into the shoes of the hastily engaged, angelic Ananya with ease; Lisa Haydon plays struggling musician Shonali in a bohemian avatar that is reminiscent of her performance as the feisty Vijaylakshmi in Queen.
The Trip is the latest Bindaas channel production to depict female experiences, and follows in the footsteps of the web series Girl in the City and television show Queens Hai Hum. An effervescent version of the oft-trodden road trip trope, The Trip chronicles the misadventures of the four women with a steady stream of giggling banter and whispered confessions. With pretty visuals and an evocative background score, The Trip looks a lot like a spiffily made Hindi film that has been snipped at the right places.
“I didn’t think of it as a show about womanhood,” said series director Lakshya Raj Anand, who has previously been an assistant director on Bang Bang! and Ek Tha Tiger. “For me, it was simply a story about four friends going on a trip from Delhi to Thailand.”
The director joined the project three months before it went on air on December 16. At the time, the characters had been etched out without a specific plot in place. “Around the time when we were working on the show, this highway opened up between Delhi and Thailand, which fascinated me,” Anand said. “So we thought, let’s put them together in a car on a road trip and see what happens.”
Although there was never a conscious attempt to emulate any film, Anand acknowledges the impact of popular road movies. “Films like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Dil Chahta Hai have been very popular, so to a certain extent, these films might have affected how our story panned out,” he said.
As a man trying to tell a story about four women, Anand often relied upon his actors to credibly depict female banter. The gender difference did not matter once the filming started, according to him. “Obviously sometimes it came across and people said you don’t know how women talk,” he said. “But I stayed away from it. We didn’t look at it from a gender perspective, so I think that’s why what we came up with is so refreshing.”
Anand moulded the characters partially on people he knew in an attempt to make them seem realistic. “We have tried to tell a story about four different girls across a spectrum and that’s why I think they will be quite relatable,” he said.
Small portions of the show were not scripted before the shooting began. “Sometimes we didn’t have scripts on the day we were making the plot,” Anand recalled. The team would then work together to refine the scenes. This kind of collaborative creation came with its ups and downs: “On some days it can go really badly. But on other days, if your team supports you, it can go very nicely and naturally.”
The leads also channelled their personal experiences to play their parts. “These women are magicians,” Anand said. “They are so natural in their parts. They have blended into their roles very beautifully.”