Shabana Azmi Plays Bereaved Kashmiri Grandmother, Shoots In The Valley


The Kashmir Valley seems to have opened its arms once again to Bollywood in a big way. In the last two years at least 12-14 film crews have flown into the Valley to shoot fearlessly and returned full of praise for the  warmth of the snowcapped  Valley.

Currently Shabana Azmi is in Kashmir shooting for debutant director Piyush Panjuani’s  Idgah.Based on Hindi litterateur Munshi Premchand’s  celebrated short story about an orphaned 8-year old boy and his grandmother its directed is associated with Ram Madhvani’s ad agency. Interestingly Ram and Shabana worked a special magic inNeerja earlier this year.

Set in Kashmir the story Idgah was written in Urdu, although       Premchand normally wrote in Hindi.

To this day it is regarded as  one of the most secular pieces of literature created in the Indian subcontinent.

Speaking from Kashmir Shabana says, “I am shooting in a pristine valley called Nagin. I play a  woman in the hills named Ameena who lost her only son and his wife in an accident and is left looking after their only son Hamid. It’s a tender tale of grandma and grandson who is 8 years old.”

Apparently the bond between Shabana and the little boy is so real  it makes the camera feel redundant. Those who had seen Shabana’s karmic connection with Master Makharand in Pravin Bhatt’s Bhavna  more than 30 years ago would immediately recognize her newly-formed kinship with the little boy.

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