STATE TIMES NEWS
BHADARWAH: Surrounded by lush green meadows, snow-clad mountains and covered with dense coniferous forests, Bhaderwah also known as ‘New Kashmir’ is the latest destination for Bollywood. After 33 years Noorie and a couple of small budget and festival movies here and there, the shooting of film ‘Ghalib’, directed by Manoj Giri is in progress here.
The picturesque valley with its gurgling streams picturised in late Yash Chopra’s Farooq Shaikh and Poonam Dhillon starrer 1980’s film ‘Noorie,’ is once again seeing cameras rolling with Giri’s film ‘Ghalib’. The film is being shot with seasoned actors Deepika Chikhalia who rose to fame playing the role of Sita in Ramanand Sagar’s hit television serial Ramayan, Anil Rastogi, Nikhil Pitala, Hussain Khan, Ajay Arya, Megha Joshi, Aarti Tyagi beside the main protagonist Vishal Dubey.
Although located 240 km away from Kashmir Valley, the threat of militancy in the valley was a deterrent for over 30 years, but in last couple of years and especially with the commencement of the shooting for ‘Ghalib’ in Bhaderwah after 1980, the apprehensions of violence seems to be a thing of the past.
“Those who don’t have visited Bhadarwah, I want to tell them that we are here enjoying and shooting in a very peaceful manner,” says writer of film Dheeraj Mishra, who after location hunting Kashmir Valley, Rajouri and Poonch found Bhadarwah as a perfect location for his script.
According to him, 50 per cent of the shooting will be held at Bhaderwah and the remaining will be shot in other parts of the country.
Mishra appreciated the local administration and the Bhaderwah Development Authority for providing them congenial atmosphere and security.
” I was so mesmerised to see the mundane beauty of this beautiful valley that I was compelled to make some changes in the script to extend our shoot here,” Mishra added.
” I was a little apprehensive before visiting this place but after reaching here, all my inhibitions fizzled in the breath taking locales of this unexplored heaven and now I’m seriously considering to buy a place for me here,” said Deepika Chikhalia, who is playing mother of the main protagonist ‘Ghalib’.
“The film ‘Ghalib’ is based on a young Kashmiri teenage student and his mother with troubled past, I want to change the perception of the people regarding Jammu and Kashmir and the way film is shaping up, I’m quite hopeful that we will manage to do so in an effective and interesting manner,” said Manoj Giri, director of the movie.
Bhaderwah Development Authority(BDA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rajinder Prasad Khajuria said that shooting of Ghalib will attract more people to this place and hoped that more filmmakers will return to the Bhaderwah Valley that has unparalleled beauty, but was neglected for over two decades.