Alia Bhatt: “Kashmir Is  Actually Paradise On Earth”

Alia Bhatt who shot for her  new film Raazi in Kashmir for  a lengthy schedule has come back  from the Valley as a fan.

Says Alia enthusiastically, “One had always heard  of Kashmir as paradise on earth. But when I actually  went there  for shooting I realized this was really the most beautiful place I had seen on earth.”

 So spellbound  is Alia by the  natural beauty  of  the Valley that she wishes to visit again  in the near future. “And this time not for work but simply to look around.  I had hardly got any time away from the shooting to actually see the place. That is sad, because my  mother(actress Soni Razdan) was with me, and  it would have been fabulous to explore the landscape.”

Alia  got a  sightseeing opportunity only once in the Valley. “On a rare occasion when I had time off from shooting for Raazi , my mother and I took a long shikara ride. That was unbelievably enjoyable and  exhilarating. I didn’t get a chance to do it a second time.  But I will be going back. Because I  want to just take in  the stunning beauty of Kashmir.”

What about all the militancy activity and disturbance  in the Valley?

Alia vehemently  opposes the  view of the Valley as  violent.  “I  know  people are scared to go to Kashmir because from the outside we’ve heard so  much about the  violence. But believe me, I saw no stress or violence anywhere while we shot for Raazi. Throughout, it was peaceful and invigorating.We had  irreproachable securitybandobast. But it was all tranquil, not a single untoward  incident happened during the entire shooting schedule ofRaazi.”

Alia urges Bollywood to rebuild touristic confidence in Kashmir.  “We saw no strife or tension anywhere. Everywhere we went we were treated with love and affection. I know Hindi films were shot extensively in Kashmir during the  1970s and  80s.Then with militancy on the rise  it stopped. Now I can tell all the film crew in Mumbai who are interested  in visiting Kashmir to shoot. ‘Please  don’t go by what you’ve read and heard. It is absolutely safe to shoot in Kashmir.Go  by all means.’  We need to go there more often to shoot our films.  Only then will the rest  of  the people feel confident enough to visit the Valley and make it the tourists’ paradise  it once used  to be.”

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