When Rishi Kapoor suddenly messages you on Twitter, you’re bound to be staggered. Ammara Hikmat, the producer of the long-awaited Pakistani movie, The Legend of Maula Jatt (TLOMJ), certainly was.
Following the Bollywood actor’s recent demise, Ammara has shared a screenshot of her Twitter exchange with the actor where he was enquiring about the movie’s release and wishing her the best of luck.
“The only reason why I shared this screenshot is that I felt extremely sentimental when I heard of his death,” says Ammara.
“I went online to see my Twitter conversations with him and realized that there was this one unread message from him, from March, which I had missed. I am not very active on Twitter and hadn’t realised that he had messaged me. I felt so sad.”
But how did Ammara know the great Rishi Kapoor at all? Apparently, she didn’t. But he knew the star of her upcoming movie, Fawad Khan, and had worked with him in the 2016 Bollywood release Kapoor & Sons.
“In the first message that I got from him, he wrote, “Hello, I am from Mumbai…” and I was completely startled. Of course I knew who he was and yet, this superstar was messaging me and introducing himself.”
“He had found out about TLOMJ because he followed Fawad and felt that he was a very good actor. When the trailer released, he told me that he really liked it.”
The movie proceeded to fall victim to a legal battle that lead to delays in its release date. Now, when it was finally ready to be released on Eid-ul-Fitr, the coronavirus lockdown swooped in and delayed it yet again.
Ammara reveals that back when she had decided on the Eid-ul-Fitr 2020 release, Rishi Kapoor was the first person that she informed from outside her friends’ circle.
“I only announced the release date officially some time later but I did tell him much before. I even told him that he was the first person that I was telling.”
Rishi Kapoor has passed away but the rest of us are still avidly waiting for the erstwhile TLOMJ to release. But this little Twitter exchange, between a fledgling Pakistani producer and a veteran Indian superstar just goes to show the Indo-Pak animosity quite often is truly just political.
For many of us, on both sides of the border, all we want to see is a good movie or a good drama. Also, with so many Rishi Kapoor fans in Pakistan heartbroken over his death, it’s good to know that he had a soft corner for Pakistan.