By Farooq Wani
Bollywood has had a decades old connection with Kashmir, an association born out of the film industry’s fascination with the picturesque scenery of what’s rightly referred to as ‘paradise on earth’. In olden days when the means of communication were both primitive and scarce, advertising of Kashmir as a tourist destination was limited to photos in magazines and first-hand accounts of those few who had visited this place. However, both had its own limitations- while photography in those days couldn’t do real justice to the subject, hearing someone talking about Kashmir’s beauty was often brushed aside as exaggeration arising out of the desire to ‘show-off’.
Drama serial Choti Sardarni lead actress Simran Sachdeva has said that people associated with Bollywood should visit Kashmir and capture its beauty in their films.
She said that Kashmir’s beauty is unparalled in the world.”Bollywood people should come to Kashmir always. It is our own country and much beautiful than Switzerland,” actress Simran said.She said that Kashmir and its people are our own .
“Kashmir is a part of our country. We can shoot without any difficulty here. We can understand our country better than other places like Switzerland,” she said.
She said that it was her first trip to Kashmir and always wanted to visit Kashmir. “It is a dream come true for me. Kashmir actually is heaven on earth,” she said.
The Simran said that she had visited Pahalgam and Gulmarg. “The love and affection that we received here is unparallel. Such type of affection cannot be seen in any part of the world,” the ace actress said.
“I have visited Switzerland many times. But the beauty of Kashmir is unmatched to Switzerland,” she said.She said the way she got a rousing welcome in Kashmir was also hear-touching.
She is staying in golden area of world famous Dal Lake in “Best View Resorts, a group of houseboats.” She said it is like dream comes true while staying in “Miss England” .
“The beauty of houseboat mesmerized me many fold . What I had heard and learned about Kashmir through books or cinema is actually true,” she said.
She said that, “I want to do a music video or an advertisement shoot or even a movie in Kashmir. It is my wish,” she said.
Another Bollywood legendary Singer Richa Sharma who was shooting for a sufi song in Kashmir said that the place suits the genre of her music.
“I mostly sing Sufi songs and Kashmir is a place of saints and Sufism. I believe that my genre of music suits this place unlike other genres,” says Richa.The 46-year-old singer says that she has an old connection with the valley.
“The last time I visited here was in 2000 to launch DD Kashir TV channel but since then I didn’t get a chance to visit. I have been wishing to visit here for a long time but thanks to my brother and music composer Jaan Nissar Lone who gave me this opportunity,” says Richa.
Explaining further on her Kashmir connection, she said, “When I was just 13-year-old when I met a Kashmiri brother who used to treat me as her own sister and gave me Kashmiri shawls. It was like a family relation with them. Later, they went somewhere and we couldn’t know their whereabouts till date.”
She said she has become addicted to the place. “I don’t why people need to go for intoxication when we have a place like Kashmir on the earth,” Richa said, who is popular for songs like Billo Rani, Sajda and Zor Ka Jhatka.She added, “I am impressed by its beauty, hospitality and food.”
The song titled ‘Mere Ali Maula Ali’ produced by Mumbai based music company A R Music Studios. “This is a sufi song which will promote the art and culture of Kashmir,” says Jaan Nissar who is also the managing director of A R Music Studios.
With the arrival of Bollywood in Kashmir people are relived.
It will enhance more opportunities of business especially for those who are connected to tourism sector and will help to boost shattered economy of Kashmir due to the pandemic which griped not only India but entire world and also it will open doors for Kashmiri youngsters who want try their luck in glamour world .