When TV show producer Rajan Shahi approached the management of Pataudi Palace in Haryana, seeking permission to shoot there, little did he know that the locals would mistake his unit and him for wedding planners. Rajan and his team were at the Pataudi royal family’s ancestral home, now turned into a hotel, to shoot a short film revolving around a marriage, as part of the TV series Teri Meri Love Story.
“We were there for 17 days. That’s the longest any shooting unit has stayed there. We decorated it to resemble a wedding venue and shot all the Punjabi wedding ceremonies. After a while, we had locals on our sets, asking if it was Saif (Ali Khan) and Kareena’s (Kapoor) wedding,” recalls Rajan. “Many also assumed that it’s a rehearsal for the royal wedding.”
The producer-director visited hundreds of havelis in the country before finalising Pataudi Palace, which was only lent for film productions until now. “The management didn’t want their guests to be disturbed. So, I made a booking in a way that the hotel doesn’t house any other guests at the same time,” says Rajan. “The palace is perfect to shoot a love story. It’s uncanny that we managed to film a wedding just ahead of the big one that might take place overthere soon.”