“I don’t feel like I’m in another country. Pakistanis have given me so much love. I’m overwhelmed. I feel very lucky.”
This is how Indian actress Aditi Singh expressed herself at a press meet held at the Karachi Press Club on Wednesday evening.
Ms Singh, who has worked in Pakistani film Wajood directed by Javed Sheikh, said she feels fortunate to have been asked to come to the press club. She was also happy that Pakistani actress Meera had accompanied her to the presser. Meera was the one who, when she first saw her in Wajood, had remarked that Javed Sheikh had cast a doll-like girl in his film.
Ms Singh said whatever she has achieved as an actress so far is because of the media and the way it has encouraged her presence in Pakistan. “Artists are nothing without the media’s support.”
Ms Singh told journalists that her maternal uncle, actor Aditya Pancholi, had told her that she would get a lot of love from Pakistan just as he did. It’s true. She has not yet felt that she’s not in her own house [country]. She is overwhelmed by the love that Pakistanis have given her. There are so many families here who have made her a member of their households.
Answering a question whether there are any technical differences between working in Indian and Pakistani films, she replied there’s none. The Pakistani industry is growing a lot, though the pace is slow. Pakistani media’s future is bright. The content being used here is of high quality. Responding to a query, she said she’d like to work with Pakistani artists Ali Zafar, Hamza Ali Abbasi and Meera.
Ms Singh began her film career with a Telugu film Guppedanth Prem and went on to do another Telugu movie Nenu Kidnap Iyanu before coming to Pakistan.
Prior to her address, Meera read out a speech (though earlier journalists were told that she’s going to play a recorded message because she wasn’t feeling well). She welcomed Ms Singh to the club and thanked the Pakistan Film TV Journalists Association for arranging the event.
Ms Meera said the club had gathered ambassadors of two countries under one roof. Though the countries had different borders, their people love each other. Borders could be far from each other but not the hearts of the people. There are a number of political and ideological differences between India and Pakistan, but when it comes to culture and the film industry, art is not confined to borders. Heads of state require formal invitations to visit one another’s countries, not the artist community. Artists cannot be stopped by foreign policy to cross into another country. The only thing that artists look for is love.
Ms Meera said she recently met Indian actor Sonu Sood in Dubai. He expressed his desire to come to Pakistan and wished that Meera’s upcoming film Baji is released in India. She also met Poonam Dhillon, who too wants to visit Pakistan.
The office bearers (Imtiaz Faran, Arman Sabir, Raja Kamran) and some members of the governing body of the Karachi Press Club formally welcomed the two guests. Wasi Qureshi conducted the programme.
Originally published in Dawn, January 17th, 2019