A Bollywood Fan From Pakistan Watched ‘Kaabil’ In A Karachi Theatre & Here’s How It Went
This week, Kaabil released to packed cinema halls in Pakistan as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif decided to lift the the ban on Indian films. At least three other films are expected to follow suit in the near future. Among these are Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees, Akshay Kumar’s Jolly LLB 2 and the Anushka Sharma-Ranbir Kapoor-Aishwarya Rai starrer Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. Sadiq Saleem, a Pakistani writer and a hardcore Bollywood fan tells us what lifting of this ban means for Pakistani film lovers.
My mother is from Mumbai, India and my father is a Pakistani. So you may call me a mixed breed who has been walking the tight rope of patriotism. From Mahira to Madhuri, from Lata to Noor Jehan my life is torn between India & Pakistan and that’s is exactly how I like it.
Last week, I watched Raees in Dubai and it was a fascinating experience. Now think about it, how often do you see the best of India and Pakistan sharing a frame together with love flowing from all over the place. It was as unbelievable as Modi and Sharif singing Yeh Dosti hum Nahi chhodenge on a bike. Needless to say, SRK’s entry brought the house down. We must applaud Mahira for holding her ground against SRK.
n short, together they were Khantastic! To my surprise, there was not much of an applause for her because the bunch sitting next to me were not Pakistanis, said ‘is ki waja se bara bakhera hua hai’. It’s unfortunate that such a grudge was held against an artiste.
We in Pakistan, when it comes to cinema, have this habit of romanticizing our past . In the last three decades, we have mainly watched, remembered and cherished Bollywood films. That is why, my father can never agree to my liking because according to him, I would have gone berserk if i were alive at the time of Lollywood (the Pakistani film industry) stars, Nadeem and Shabnam who were as big a craze as Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore.
They say you realize the worth of something only after you lose it. Bollywood and Pakistani audience share a similar sentiment. I can only imagine how the audience roars will create cracks in the walls of the packed halls once Raees receives the NOC from the broadcasting and media authorities.
Let me share a beautiful couplet by a Pakistani poet that plea for hope for both the nations. I hope that sanity prevails and art continues to flourish like before. Until then:
Chahnay walay ek dafa banwas to letay hain
Yehi Kaafi hai ke ek hawa mein saans toh letey he