Mahesh Bhatt brings India and Pakistan together in new play 'Milne Do'

The play is an intense love story between two culturally crossed individuals
Mumbai: Mahesh Bhatt, in an endeavour to find common ground between India and Pakistan, is all set to produce and present a play 'Milne Do'. A collaborative effort of theatre actors from the two countries, the play is an intense love story between two culturally crossed individuals during times of abject hatred.
Mahesh’s protégé Imran Zahid will be playing an Indian boy who falls in love with a Pakistani girl. The Pakistani girl will be played by Mehwish Hayat.
Palash Sen of the band Euphoria is likely to create the music in collaboration with the Pakistani band Laal.
Imran is currently in Lahore with the play’s director Danish Iqbal. Speaking from Lahore, Imran said, “I am here in Lahore to finalise things for our next theatrical production Milne Do in collaboration with Pakistan theatre group AZAD and it will Directed by Danish Iqbal (who directed the theatre version of DADDY) and co-directed by Malik Aslam of Azad Theatre. Two bands — one each from India and Pakistan — will also perform live when the play. The team will rehearse together in India and Pakistan; the play will open in March-end in Delhi and then Lahore.”
Adds Mahesh Bhatt, “I have always maintained that a movie or a play can be a greater vehicle of peace than all the lectures we give. Any message, if communicated through storytelling, touches a chord. We are also trying to do the same. This play will be an emotional transaction between industries on both sides. I have always crusaded for Indo-Pak peace through the cultural space. People used to criticize me when I first released films in Pakistan. But today you have got Pakistani soaps and shows playing successfully in India,”
Bhatt said the cultural exchanges between India and Pakistan, which he crusaded for years, will "eventually fulfil the dream of the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi of the two countries walking hand-in-hand. Not necessarily films, but the theatre is also a good medium through which message could be delivered. Messaging is not necessarily through one route. Yes, cinema has a mass audience. But like cinema, theatre could be one of the ways to make slow inroads into the consciousness of the people."
Calling for deeper commercial investment between India and Pakistan, Bhatt said that the investments in any form would ensure "harmonious ties and peace between the two countries."
"I think India and Pakistan are young countries and theatre is something which obsesses the young .People say I have utopian and unrealistic ideas about Indo-Pak relations I have a firm conviction that through the cultural space, India and Pakistan can bridge a lot of distances and one has one's own journey as evidence to prove that. When I began my crusade for stitching these gaps through movies, there were people heckling and sniggering and laughing, saying that it's an impossible dream. But the truth is that Indian movies are now being shown in Pakistan, and Pakistani soaps are being shown in India. There are actors and singers from that country working here, so we have moved light years ahead in just 10-11 years.”
( Source : deccan chronicle )
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