Everest (Indian TV series)
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|Created by||Ashutosh Gowariker|
|Country of origin||India|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||102|
Approx. 45-50 minutes (Episodes 1)|
Approx. 65 minutes ( Last Episode)
|Production company(s)||Ashutosh Gowariker Productions Private Limited (AGPPL)|
|Original network||STAR Plus|
|Original release||3 November 2014 – 1 March 2015|
Everest is a Hindi language Indian telenovela which began airing on STAR Plus on 3 November 2014. The series was created by Ashutosh Gowariker and produced by Ashutosh Gowariker Productions Private Limited (AGPPL). The music of the telenovela was composed by A. R. Rahman. It was shot in India and Nepal. The shooting locations included Everest Base Camp (in Nepal) and the Dokriani Glacier (in India), which are located at a height of 17,590 feet (5,360 m) and 12,000 feet (3,700 m) above sea level, respectively.
A group of students enters Nehru Institute of Mountaineering in Uttarkashi for training to climb Mount Everest. Anjali Singh Rawat, who feels neglected by her father (Jagat Singh Rawat), wants to win his love by fulfilling his dream of the mountain with the aid of her mother (Sarita) and her best friend (Maithili). Videographer Aakash Joshi, who lived with his best friend Gaurav and his mother (Shikha Maa) until Gaurav was killed in an accident for which Aakash feels responsible, is supposed to make a documentary on Arjun Sabharwal's expedition. Sabharwal, an orphan, was a thief before he became India's best mountaineer. His next expedition is Everest.
Anjali climbs alone above Everest Base Camp, and Aakash wants to tell her he loves her. The eight mountaineers (Arun Abhyankar, Arjun, Aakash, Chand and the four sherpas) make their way to Everest, and sherpa Nima falls in the valley of Khumbu while trying to cross with a ladder. The others, mourning his death, set off. Near Camp 2 they encounter loose snow, and Chand crosses it before helping Arjun. Anjali leaves the Base Camp without telling anyone. The snow gives way, and the team is saved from falling to their death by Arun. Before Anjali returns and lowers another rope, Chand tries to sacrifice himself by cutting the rope and easing the strain on Arun. The team tries to contact Nasir, trapped with two others at Camp 4. They reach Camp 3, losing nine oxygen tanks in strong winds. Near Camp 4, they find Nasir near death; his sherpa is dead and his climbing partner, Chris, is missing. Arun tells two of their sherpas to bring Nasir back to Everest Base Camp.
With favourable weather and winds, Arun (who is coughing up blood) decides to resume the climb. Aakash remains at Camp 4 since there is insufficient oxygen for six climbers, and teaches Chand to use the camera. When the climbers reach the Balcony, a dangerous storm hits. Although Sameer Khanna tells the climbers to stay in one place, Arjun leaves for the south summit without telling anyone. Anjali notices that Arjun is missing; Arun tells Anjali and Tashi to go one way while he and Chand go the other. Arjun, who wanted to climb Everest without oxygen, passes out and is buried by snow. After a two-hour search, Arun and Chand tell Tashi and Anjali to stop; Arjun is probably dead. Searching a bit longer, Anjali and Tashi find Arjun's water bottle and his hand poking out of the snow. They dig him out; Arun and Chand join them, but Arjun refuses water and oxygen. Anjali calls Reena, a BNTV reporter in Everest base camp and Arjun's former lover. After Reena talks to him, Arjun accepts oxygen. When he tells mission sponsor Ramesh Roongta that he will not continue, Ramesh fears damage to his reputation and is furious. Aakash arrives from Camp 4 with three oxygen cylinders.
Arun tells Tashi and Chand to prepare to descend, and Anjali's dreams are shattered. According to Arun, Ramesh funded the exhibition for Arjun; without him, the team cannot continue without Ramesh's permission. At base camp, Ramesh tells Sameer that he promised his shareholders that Century Corporation's flag would fly on Everest's summit. Arun asks Chand to find his wife. He finds Tara in the ice, and he and Arun mourn her. Arun sustains internal injuries at Camp 3, and tells Chand to lead Aakash and Anjali to the summit. Before climbing the Hillary Step, they take a break. Ramesh asks Aakash to bring a sarpech to the summit; he refuses, and Ramesh halts the climb. The cameramen, Sid, shows Ramesh that the Everest mission has become the love story of Aakash and Anjali. The wind comes up on the Hillary Step. Chand dies, and Aakash refuses Arun's request to cut his rope. Anjali and Aakash finally reach the summit and they start to kiss.
- Shamata Anchan as Anjali Singh Rawat
- Rohan Gandotra as Aakash Joshi
- Armaan Khera as Vidhaan
- Sahil Salathia as Arjun Sabharwal
- Simran Judge as Reena Tyagi
- Surabhi Prabhu as Tara 
- Teeshay Shah as Biju 
- Kishori Shahane as Sarita Rawat
- Manish Choudhary as Brigadier Jagat Singh Rawat
- Milind Gunaji as Colonel Arun Abhyankar
- Naina Trivedi as Maithili
- Diganta Hazarika as Chaand Hazarika
- Mohan Kapoor as Major Sameer Khanna(Sam)
- Rajat Kapoor as Ramesh Roongta
- Suhasini Mulay as Shikha Maa
- Sonel Singh as Pari
- Diamond Akhtar as Narayan
- Saurabh Goyal as Siraj Ahmed
- Musten Jiruwala
Produced by Ashutosh Gowariker Productions Private Limited, Everest has been slated to telecast 100 episodes. The telenovela was edited by Dilip Deo, and the story and series screenplay were written by Mitali Mahajan and Gowariker. Episodic screenplay was written by Bhavani Iyer. Preeti Mamgain, Lalit Marathe and Manisha Korde wrote the dialogues for Everest. The rest of the crew members of Everest are:
- Cinematographer – Alphonse Roy, Mahesh Aney, Nayer Ghufran For Aerial Shoot and Piyush Shah
- Art director – Aparna Raina
- Action director – Amar Shetty
- Theme composed by – A. R. Rahman
- Score by – Jerry Silvester Vincent
- Music Supervision by – Arpita Gandhi
- Sound designer – Lochan Kanvinde
- Costume designer – Preeti Sharma
- Make-up artist – Vikram Gaikwad
Afaqs! has described the project as "high on investment", and Gaurav Banerjee, the general manager of STAR Plus, said that Everest will be "a television show at a scale bigger than any other show". Gowariker added that their aim is "to take cinema to the home of the audiences" by giving the television audience a cinematic experience through this show.
Everest led to a delay in the film Mohenjo Daro, another of Gowariker's projects. Gowariker came up with the concepts at the same time, but because he was more excited about starting Everest he postponed Mohenjo Daro. Gowariker later clarified this, saying: "What is most important for me is the planning stage. Once that is in place, implementing the ideas becomes easier. The research (for Everest) took longer than usual. So yes, I did have to push the movie a little bit because Everest took up a lot of my time. It is my dream project and needed more attention."
When creating his concept, Ashutosh Gowariker realised that a television script is different than one for film projects, and that covering mountaineering as a sport would have limitations. He ultimately derived a script that attempted to show the mountaineers' inner satisfactions at their attempts to conquer their obstacles.
The concept of Everest took shape in Gowariker's mind around two years before the telenovela was made. At that time he was confused between the themes of female empowerment and the fairly obscure sport of mountaineering. As he could not proceed with either of them individually, Gowariker combined the two themes into one, creating the theme of Everest. Gowariker stated that: "The whole idea of the show actually began with an insight that what are you willing to do for your dreams?" Before starting the shooting of Everest, Gowariker had to do a great deal of research. The makers referred to books such as To Everest and Beyond (by Edmund Hillary) and accounts by various other mountaineers, a few of whom they met personally. Mitali Mahajan, who co-wrote the story and the screenplay of the show, said: "There are 14 peaks that have an elevation of over 8,000 meters and some enthusiastic people have climbed them all. A lot of them have live blogs about their journey through these peak. We have been following a lot of them."
Accustomed to writing the scripts for movies, Gowariker said that he found it difficult to write the script for Everest. Typically, in the case of a soap opera, the story is not written entirely prior to release. Rather, it is written as the soap opera goes on, analysing various factors such as the TRPs (television rating points) and the audience feedback. Everest, however, was not written this way. Gowariker has also said that it was while writing the story that he realised the self-satisfaction that people get after climbing Mount Everest. After finishing writing the story, he realised not only that he wanted to produce the show, but also that he also needed experts to direct it. Gowariker said in a group interview that through Everest he would also be addressing the girl child issue.
While making Everest, which was filmed using equipment such as GoPro cameras and 4K technology, the producers collaborated with the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand (India), to shoot the telenovela. Filmed in Nepal and India, the filming locations included Lukla and Everest Base Camp (which is located at 17,590 feet (5,360 m) above sea level) in Nepal and Pokhran, Jaipur and Jodhpur, in Rajasthan, Uttarkashi and the Dokriani Glacier (which is located at 12,000 feet (3,700 m) above sea level) in India. The crew of Everest had to shoot the telenovela in extreme temperatures and required additional oxygen to cope with the increased altitude, making it difficult for them to shoot. They had to trek in Uttarakhand for 10 days to film the telenovela.
The shooting began in December 2013, and by September 2014 ninety per cent of the storyline had been shot. Due to the extreme climatic conditions, the crew were able to shoot for a maximum of 4–5 hours a day, increasing the number of shooting days. Members of the crew also underwent various health tests prior to the shooting.
Initially, producers Lawrence D'Souza and Gowariker had planned to shoot the entire telenovela in New Zealand. However, before the shooting started they incidentally met Col. Kothiyal, the Principal of NIM, who convinced them to shoot the telenovela in Uttarkashi by informing them that the NIM had not only the required equipment but also the expertise to shoot the serial. Col. Kothiyal also pointed out to Gowariker and D’Souza that it would bring down the production costs. This led the producers to shoot part of Everest in Uttarakashi and part in New Zealand. The cast and the crew arrived in Dehradun, Uttarakhand on 6 February 2014, from where they headed to Uttarkashi. The training of the cast and crew also began at NIM, after which the team headed to the Dokriani Glacier, and then Nepal, where the final portion of Everest was shot. The team finished shooting in Uttarakhand within two months, according to the scheduled plan.
Everest was the television debut of A. R. Rahman, who composed the music for the telenovela. Rahman said at the launch that he used tracks created by students from his music college for the show. Rahman also said: "Venturing into television was on my mind for a couple of years. Ashutosh came to me with the concept which was so intriguing. It is a very good start for me."
Touted as "the most ambitious project on Indian television", Everest's theatrical poster and trailer were released on 16 September 2014. The launch also included crew members from various departments, including costume and photography. News reports said that this was done as a "token of appreciation". Nikhil Madhok, the senior Vice President of marketing and programming (STAR Plus), later said that the first thing which Everest should do when it went on-air was to break the clutter. He further said that STAR Plus had wanted to launch Everest around winter, as the audience will enjoy the telenovela more with the cold around the corner. Everest was scheduled to premiere on STAR Plus on 3 November 2014 at 10:00 pm (IST). In an effort to ensure that the audiences are able to relate to the story of Everest, the makers of the telenovela stated that the title Everest is metaphorical. "Everest" is symbolic of every person's struggle to accomplish something. Nikhil Madhok said, "The marketing plan will revolve around the thought 'Everybody has an "Everest" in their life' – something everybody will be able to relate to ... Secondly, the technology and settings being used are all in an attempt to push the agenda of television forward." The trailers of the show also took forward this idea. For instance, one of the trailers of Everest shows a cancer patient, undergoing a treatment, whose "Everest" is to win over cancer, while another shows a woman conversing with her aphonic son in sign language; her "Everest" is to understand her son a little better every day. This was also the first time that a two and a half minute trailer had been made for an Indian television series. Everest's trailer also entered theatres with the release of the Bollywood film, Happy New Year, which starred Shah Rukh Khan as its male protagonist. Following the launch of Everest, which was co-powered by Godrej Ezee, STAR Plus also launched a campaign titled #WhatsYourEverest, on radio, on television and social networking sites. The campaign asked people about their personal "Everests". STAR Plus also collaborated with Everest's presenting sponsor Fair & Lovely's "Fair & Lovely Foundation", an initiative by Fair & Lovely to economically empower women to fulfill their dreams. Through this collaboration, selected individuals are given monetary help and other kinds of assistance to conquer their own "Everests". Apart from Godrej Ezee and Fair & Lovely, Vinod Cookware signed up as the associate sponsor of Everest.
STAR Plus also collaborated with a few outlets of Costa Coffee in India and, as a part of the promotions, created a special zone called the Everest Zone in the café.This special zone was approximately 5 °C (41 °F), had snow on the ground, and had waiters serving the customers within. The customers were given jackets to protect themselves from the cold. This initiative, which started in various Indian cities on 22 October 2014, will continue throughout the working hours for several weekends. Nikhil Madhok said that this was done to give people an experience of how it feels on Everest.
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