16 December, 2006 from "The Hindu

My kind of place -- SAROJA DEVI

Shooting Abroad

Those days it was unheard of. Producers never went scouting for exotic locations or spent lavishly on picturising songs. Now we see every other film being shot on foreign locales.

Personal trips

So my travels outside the country were mostly holidays with my family. I cannot forget my first visit to Switzerland in 1969 with my husband. I had a wonderful time discovering this land of snow-capped peaks and lakes. Oh! So gorgeous, that every moment spent there is permanently etched in my mind. It was a unique experience to go up 11,000 feet in Interlaken (in the Alps) and I also remember tucking into giant omelettes. The trip literally left me asking for more. So much so I couldn't resist the temptation of revisiting the country

Initiated into the culture

My first encounter with the Western culture and lifestyle was during these travels abroad. During one of my visits to Switzerland, I remember how a Mexican blew a flying kiss at me. I was startled. He then came up to me and said he didn't mean to offend; he just felt like appreciating my beauty.

New Zealand, another favourite

My Two years back I went visiting my friends in New Zealand and instantly fell in love with all that this cool destination has to offer. The ambience and weather were so relaxing that I preferred to put up my feet in the cosy comfort of my friend's house and watch my films with her family..

Food is a problem

I feel lost when I cannot get sambar and rice. Unlike before, you can now find Indian restaurants all over the globe. I could stay in Switzerland, thanks to my husband's friends, who served me home-cooked south Indian fare. Also, wherever I go, even if the temperature drops to sub-zero, I wear only saris. I just go in for some matching coats and my trademark scarves.

THE ACTOR SPOKE TO CHITRA SWAMINATHAN