The Brown and the Gold - May 1996

Woodstock actors hit Doordarshan
By Meilin Rohrer
Excerpted from The Tiger

[Note: The TV serial Ek Tha Rusty with which Woodstock students helped lust semester has recently been showing on Wednesdays on Doordurshun. The producers have asked that their thanks be conveyed to the Woodstock community. The following item is by one of the students who appeared in two episodes of the serial.)

Ever heard of The Adventures of Rusty, about Ruskin Bond, an international Indian writer? Well, the story broken down into 13 episodes, will appear on DDI with a couple of familiar Woodstock faces.

From St. George's to Barlowganj to Sisters' Bazaar to the Savoy Hotel, this film is making the most of Mussoorie's historical sights, since the story takes place in the 40s. [Recently] Professor Ganesh Saili phoned asking for foreign looking students who would like to take part in the filming.

[Then late one Saturday night the film crew arrived.] The next morning, Jan-Eric Voss, Till Eggert, Ariane Dowman, Anne- Afke Sol, Julie Valente, Meilin Rohrer and Mr. and Mrs. Wiebe were up at Sister's Bazaar awaiting the wild opportunity.

Mrs. Shubhdarshani Singh, the director, is India's first woman to do a wildlife documentary, Tears Through Crocodile Eyes. And the cameraman, Devlin Bose, was part of the famous Gandhi movie crew.

The Adventures of Rusty is a recollection of Ruskin Bond's life stories. Thirteen year-old Zarul Ahuja plays Rusty's part. This serial is one of the first in India where the writer actually introduces each episode.

They began filming in 1991. Now Mrs. Shubhdarshani says with confidence, "We had difficulties in the beginning, but I love it because these kinds of stories are unusual on Indian TV. It's going to be a winner, I can feel it in my bones."

After a bank scene with Mrs. Wiebe, Ariane and Anne-Afke as Britishers, Mr. Wiebe, Julie and Meilin waited another five hours to be taken to the Savoy Hotel to film tourist scenes. Fatigued after a long day, they finally reached the dorms at 10:30 p.m.

"I can't believe it was for real. The costumes and make-up, wow! It was exhausting but it was certainly worthwhile," says Julie.

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