Bol­ly­wood Love Af­fair con­tin­ues With Pak­istan!!!

Asian Journal - - Kamal's What's Happening! - Ka­mal Sharma

Ever since the par­ti­tion, many prom­i­nent artists born in cities like LA­HORE & KARACHI, mi­grated to In­dia and sim­i­larly, many well-known artists de­cided to move to Pak­istan but it wasn’t till 1949 when Pak­istan’s first ever film TERI YAAD was made in La­hore, which was one of the three ma­jor film cen­ters in pre-par­ti­tioned In­dia be­sides Cal­cutta & Bom­bay. The very same year, M. L. Anand’s film LA­HORE (1949) with Nar­gis, Karan Di­wan, Pra­tima Devi & Om Prakash, which de­picted the hor­rors of par­ti­tion was screened, and it’s said that many artists from In­dia & Pak­istan wept un­con­trol­lably as they ex­pe­ri­enced the butch­ery dur­ing par­ti­tion. La­hore & Karachi be­came the ma­jor film pro­duc­tion cen­ters in Pak­istan and Bol­ly­wood went on to be­come the world’s ma­jor film pro­ducer and the walls of mis­trust grew fur­ther be­tween the two coun­tries. No pro­ducer dared to make films about the deep bond­ing that the peo­ple shared for cen­turies and few his­tor­i­cal films merely had men­tion of popular cities where many dis­placed fam­i­lies had lived for cen­turies. The 1965 & 1971 Indo-Pak war didn’t help ei­ther as films on ei­ther side had more pa­tri­otic fer­vour deep­en­ing the divide be­tween the na­tions, how­ever, things started im­prov­ing from late 70’s as Nazia-Zo­heb Has­san & the gazal duo of Me­hdi Has­san & Ghu­lam Ali be­came popular in In­dia. I must men­tion that In­dian movies, in­spite of a very strong lobby against them, re­mained popular and along with Dilip Ku­mar & Dev Anand, Ra­jesh Khanna & Amitabh Bachchan were the new heart throbs there and need­less to say that In­dian heroines ruled the hearts. Mal­lika-E-Tarannum NOOR JE­HAN was ac­corded a grand re­cep­tion in Bom­bay in early 80’s and DILIP KU­MAR, who was born in Pe­shawar, was treated roy­ally on his first trip to Pak­istan, how­ever, dur­ing all this the cul­tural ex­changes im­proved and artists from Lol­ly­wood & Bol­ly­wood be­came closer. Nus­rat Fateh Ali Khan made qawwalis popular in In­dia and artists like At­taullah Khan, Akram Rahi & Sa­j­jad Ali in­spired many in Bol­ly­wood in 80’s & 90’s and many Pak­istani pop artists be­came house hold names in late 90’s and 2000’s. Though SALMA AGHA sang through her songs in NIKAAH to reach the hearts of In­di­ans, ZEBA BAKHTIYAR made the big­gest im­pres­sion with Raj Kapoor’s HENNA (1987), though her later at­tempts like JAI VIKRANTAA, MO­HAB­BAT KI AR­ZOO failed mis­er­ably, and thus started a new trend of Pak­istani ac­tors in Bol­ly­wood. Pak­istan’s SOMY ALI started with films like ANTH and fell in love with SAL­MAN KHAN but Sal­man’s fas­ci­na­tion with Aish­warya Rai turned her off and she left bol­ly­wood for­ever to set­tle in Amer­ica. MEERA (Ze­har), VEENA MA­LIK (Zindagi 50-50), JAVED SHEIKH (Namastey Lon­don), ALI ZA­FAR (Tere Bin Laden & Mere Brother Ki Dul­han), SARA LOREN (Ka­jra Re & Mur­der 3), IM­RAN AB­BAS, FAWAD KHAN (Khub­soorat) & HU­MAIMA MAL­ICK (Raja Nat­war­lal) are some of the other Pak­istani artists and the lat­est to join is MAHIRA KHAN, who has been signed op­po­site Shahrukh Khan in Farhan Akhtar’s RAEES (2016). Atif As­lam, Amanat Ali, Ra­hat Fateh Ali Khan and Muaz­zam & Rizwan Mu­jahid Ali Khan are some of the popular singers to do well in Bol­ly­wood and many prom­i­nent bol­ly­wood mu­si­cians are ex­plor­ing new singing tal­ents from Pak­istan. Mean­while, Khush­want Singh’s popular novel TRAIN TO PAK­ISTAN (1956) was made into a film by Pamela Rookes in 1998 with Nir­mal Pandey, Sm­riti Mishra, Ra­jit Kapoor, Mo­han Agashe & Divya Dutta and San­jay Pu­ran Singh made an im­pres­sive film LA­HORE (2010) about sports ri­valry be­tween In­dia & Pak­istan fea­tur­ing Fa­rooq Shaikh & Nafeesa Ali . Popular theatre & film star Vi­jay Raaz di­rected his maiden film KYA DILLI KYA LA­HORE (2014) to crit­i­cal ac­claim with Manu Rishi, Vi­jay Raaz, Raj Zut­shi & Vish­wa­jeet Prad­han in lead roles and this Fri­day, Ashish R.Mo­han di­rects Vashu Bhag­nani’s pro­duc­tion WEL­COME TO KARACHI (2015) with AR­SHAD WARSI, JACKY BHAG­NANI & LAU­REN GOTLIEB, which is shot in Birm­ing­ham, Eng­land as Pak­istani au­thor­i­ties re­fused per­mis­sion to shoot the film (ap­par­ently the pro­duc­ers dropped the idea to shoot there be­cause of se­cu­rity con­cerns in Karachi) but seems in­ter­est­ing as the film is about two In­di­ans kid­napped to Karachi and all re­ports in­di­cate that it could do very well at the box-of­fice. Bol­ly­wood’s love af­fair con­tin­ues with Pak­istan as Naseerud­din Shah, Om Puri & Anu­pam Kher fre­quently visit Pak­istan and more TV & stage ac­tors are be­ing ap­proached to act in Bol­ly­wood films. Yes, some from ei­ther side will con­tinue to make films like GADAR & WARR but the fact re­mains that mu­tual co­op­er­a­tion can erase the deep rooted sus­pi­cions and bring the com­mu­ni­ties and the na­tions to­gether and I sin­cerely hope that Bol­ly­wood’s love af­fair with Pak­istan con­tin­ues as that can con­trib­ute big time in bring­ing peace to th­ese war­ring na­tions!

Ka­mal Sharma, pres­i­dent of Ka­mal’s Video Palace, the big­gest In­dian video store in North Amer­ica and con­cert pro moter since 1994, is a popular TV host on Shaw Mul­ti­cul­tural Chan­nel of “Ka­mal’s Top 5 Hits” and “YAADEIN,” the long­est run­ning South Asian TV shows for more than 31 years.

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