Travel

All things Indian on 'Indipedia' on Epic Channel

From what Om means to truck art, Indipedia on Epic Channel explores the reasons behind customs and rituals in India

Edward Sonneblick breaks into Hindi when he describes his Buddhist yatra through India. The American actor made Mumbai home a decade ago and pursued his acting career on Indian television. His claim to fame was his double role in the television show Jhansi ki Rani.

Now he is all set to host the television show Indipedia on the Epic channel. The travel series with half-hour episodes covers everything that makes the country quintessentially Indian. “The production company had got in touch with me. We collaborated on the kind of show we will have based on my personality and history. The series is about aspects of India that are so basic that we don’t even think about it,” says Edward over phone.

What about India did he discover during the show? “A zillion things come to mind. I don’t even know where to start,” says Edward after a long pause, “Being in Benaras was really special. Every moment was magical. It is the way people live and how they talk that show you how deep their culture is.” With so many travel shows on India, what is unique about Indipedia? “This is the first time you have an anchor who is a foreigner yet some what of a local as well. So it will be a different perspective on the country,” says Edward.

All things Indian on 'Indipedia' on Epic Channel
 

The series is well-researched and explores the reasons and logic behind rituals and customs in India that have become a norm. For example, Edward says: “We explore the various aspects of Om. There is one other episode on Hanuman at Sankat Mochan Temple where Hanuman jayanti is celebrated. There is an episode on spices and its importance in Indian food, culture, and medicine.”

Talking about spices, Edward, who was born in South Carolina and raised in San Francisco Bay Area, was a chef for 15 years. “It was on a visit to India that I fell in love with it.”

So Edward, fascinated by Bollywood, returned to India to become an actor. “I watched Lagaan, which had so much emotion. I loved the music and the feel of the movie. I then started to watch Hindi films of the ‘60s and ‘70s. I read up about India and began learning Hindi. I decided to go with the flow.

One of my most popular roles was the khatarnak khalnayak jodi in Rani ki Jhansi. That made all my filmi dreams come true. I have also done a lot of voice overs and dubbing,” says Edward who has essayed roles in films such as Neerja, Kapoor and Sons, Anjaana Anjaani, Badmaash Company and Dostana.

Quiz him on what he loves about India and he says: “When I travelled around I was drawn in by the spiritual energy. India is such a diverse country.

It is a lot like eating bhel which has so many flavours holding it up. There is a tremendous amount of tolerance in this country.”

Indipedia airs every Wednesday at 8 p.m.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2020 8:41:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/travel/all-things-indian-on-indipedia-on-epic-channel/article19634537.ece

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