Bollywood brings boon for Srinagar vendors

Bollywood brings boon for Srinagar vendors

Filmmakers’ regular rendezvous with Kashmir is not only proving beneficial to people associated with the industry but also to small-time businessmen.

Nasir Mughal, 21, a tea seller at Press Enclave here, is one of the beneficiaries of the return of Bollywood. On Monday, when film crew shooting for Vishal Bhardwaj’s upcoming movie “Haider” reached the media hub of Srinagar, Mughal hit a jackpot earning Rs 4,000 in a jiffy.

“I had never earned such a hefty amount in my life. Being part of shooting scene and serving a few cups of tea to the crew was exciting,” Mughal told Deccan Herald.

“When I was approached by local support staff of the film crew two days before the shooting, initially I thought they are playing prank with me. I could not even sleep that night waiting eagerly for the shooting,” he added.

Revisiting the events that unfolded on the morning of January 27, Mughal said he was asked to open his tea stall at 4:30 am. “No one was visible on the road that time and I waited for one hour and finally the film crew reached here at 6 am.”

The chai wala, who has studied up to fifth standard, had come to Srinagar some four years back and worked in a printing press office.

“I had left my village to earn for my poor family. I worked for long hours in a printing press during night. But I was not paid well. Finally, I opened my own tea stall,” Mughal said.

Return of Bollywood to Kashmir is believed to have given a boost to the tourism industry as hundreds of roadside vendors like Mughal have been benefited. “I hope that in future, filmmakers will make a beeline for Kashmir so that people like me can also earn,” he added.

Bollywood has also opened up a channel for young artists to showcase their acting skills at a bigger platform. Last year, Vishal Bharadwaj spent a week in Kashmir to involve a good chunk of local amateur artists in his film project.

‘Films on Kashmir Centre’s tool’

Hardline Hurriyat Conference on Wednesday alleged that the films made on Kashmir act as a tool for New Delhi’s “occupation” of the state, reports DHNS from Srinagar.

“Kashmiris are known for hospitality but Delhi is doing everything to justify its military occupation in Kashmir and Bollywood actors play a part in this propaganda,” a spokesman said.

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