My father’s unfulfilled wish was to bring me to Kashmir, SRK gets nostalgic on first visit to Kashmir

Shah Rukh Khan

Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan made his maiden appearance in Kashmir on Monday. Shooting his first ever movie in the Valley, SRK’s presence raised the spirits of his fans and the tourism industry equally.

He is shooting for an untitled film in the beautiful Pahalgam Valley under the Yash Raj banner. Sources said director Yash Chopra will celebrate his 80th birthday on September 27 in Mumbai after completion of the shooting of the film in Kashmir.

Before landing in Kashmir on a sunny day on Monday, Khan tweeted saying, “Dark clouds…wet roads…too early for even life to feel alive…but I am on way to make movies. A cigarette and coffee as co travellers.”

Khan landed in Ladakh on August 18 for shooting of the film. In Ladakh he was seen donning Army fatigues and riding a motorbike indicating he is playing the role of an Army officer in the film.

In the 1990s Khan had shot ‘Dil Se’ in Ladakh. However, he didn’t visit the Valley.

Khan, wearing a black outfit and Army boots, reached Srinagar from Ladakh in the morning and took a helicopter to reach Pahalgam, some 100 km south of Srinagar.

As people heard that Khan is in Pahalgam they came out in hordes to catch a glimpse of the actor. But security kept them at bay.

Jammu and Kashmir Police didn’t allow anyone to go near the spot where Khan was shooting due to security reasons.

Khan is likely to stay for a week in Kashmir. After Pahalgam, he and his co-star Anushka Sharma will shoot at the Dal Lake in Srinagar.

Chopra is reportedly working on a love triangle film. The other big star of the film is Katrina Kaif who is yet to be seen on the sets.

Khan’s presence in Pahalgam revived Bollywood’s association with the place. Rajesh Khanna’s blockbuster movie ‘Roti’ put Pahalgam in the spotlight in the early 1970s. The Rishi Kapoor-Dimple Kapadia blockbuster Bobby followed Roti.

The hut where Bobby was shot continues to be famous as the ‘Bobby Hut’. Pahalgam is also famous for the ‘Betaab Valley’. The story goes that a small valley in the area was named ‘Betaab Valley’ after the Sunny Deol-starrer ‘Betaab’ was shot there.

Bollywood’s romance with Kashmir ended in 1990 when armed insurgency erupted in the Valley. In fact, tourism practically dried up in the Valley in the ensuing decade as Kashmir got more and more isolated due to security reasons. Shah Rukh also tweeted about that when he said, “My father’s one unfulfilled wish was to bring me to Kashmir cos his mom was from here. Now I am here, it feels I am in his big strong arms”.

However, Imtiyaz Ali broke the jinx last year. On February 2011, Ali shot ‘Rockstar’ in Pahalgam.

The tourism industry of the Valley says that Khan’s presence in Kashmir could revive Bollywood’s romance with the Valley. “I think the visit would help tourism sector and it will also bring other Bollywood directors to the Valley,” said Azim Tuman of the House Boat Owners Association.

Courtesy: http://indiatoday.intoday.in

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