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Pakistan, India come together in new play 'Milne Do'

December 13, 2014

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Director Mahesh Bhatt with his protégé Imran Zahid. - Photo courtesy: Deccan Chronicle
Director Mahesh Bhatt with his protégé Imran Zahid. - Photo courtesy: Deccan Chronicle

Pakistani band Laal has been chosen to represent the country at theatre play Milne Do which features theatre artists from Pakistan and India. The play is expected to be performed in March 2015.

According to Times of India, the proposed lead, Indian actor Imran Zahid, will be travelling to Pakistan on December 14 and rumour has it that he would act opposite the stunning Pakistani actor Mehwish Hayat.

Milne Do will be directed by Danish Iqbal who had also directed the theatrical adaptation of Mahesh Bhatt’s film Daddy.

The venture was supposed to begin in November 2013 but got delayed owing to political reasons. Giving details about the play, Zahid said: “I'm leaving for Lahore, Pakistan, on December 14 on a four-day trip along with director Danish Iqbal. We will be finalising the script, cast and rehearsal schedule with Malik Aslam of famed Pakistani theatre group, Azad, who will be co-directing the play.”

There would be two musical performances before and after the play with representation from both countries. While Laal has been confirmed, talks are still in progress to get Indian band Euphoria on board.

 Laal the band performing in New Delhi in 2012. — Photo Courtesy: The Hindu
Laal the band performing in New Delhi in 2012. — Photo Courtesy: The Hindu

Euphoria’s vocalist Palash Sen is looking forward to the project as his performance got cancelled in Lahore in 2012 because the authorities denied him an N.O.C. at the time. Sen stated: “Imran had contacted me recently to join this endeavour. I'm scheduled to meet him after he returns from Lahore. After that, we will sit down to work things out. However, on the personal front, I'm pretty much excited to become a part of it. This would be my second performance in Pakistan after 2008. I want to do everything I can to make things work between the two countries.”

Mahesh Bhatt, who had put the production in limbo, is pleased about the way things are turning out.

“I have a firm belief that India and Pakistan can bridge the distances through this cultural space. When I began my crusade for stitching these gaps through movies, there were people laughing and saying it was an impossible dream. But the truth is that Indian movies are now being shown in Pakistan, and Pakistani soaps are being shown in India. While television and cinema have a mass audience, theatre could also be one of the mediums to make slow inroads into the consciousness of the people.”

He also praised the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi for taking keen interest in their venture and issuing visas for the participants in just a day's time: “I had a talk with Mansoor Ahmed Khan, Deputy High Commissioner, Pakistan High Commission, where he assured me full cooperation.”

Holding a similar opinion, Mansoor Ahmed Khan said: “Art and culture are powerful mediums to promote peace and harmony between our two countries and we share the enthusiasm shown by both Indian and Pakistani artists. We will try and ensure our support after going through the final script and timing of the play."