Sholay in Kashmiri now

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Srinagar, Dec 18 (UNI) The magic of Sholay is again casting a spell on Kashmir as people are thronging video parlours for a compact disc of a homegrown version of Bollywood's biggest blockbuster.

Even after 32 years of its release, the remake of the movie in Kashmiri language has become a huge hit with the people of all ages in the strife-torn Valley.

Sholay, which BBC had declared as ''Film of the Millennium'' in 1999, was released in 1975 and starred Dharmendra as Veeru, Amitabh Bachchan as Jai, Hema Malini as Basanti, Sanjeev Kumar as Thakur Baldev Singh, Jaya Bhaduri as Radha and Amjad Khan as timeless villain Gabbar Singh.

All the characters of the movie became legends and even now almost everybody -- young and old -- could be heard delivering the famous dialogues of the original cinema classic.

Titled as New Sholay, the Kashmiri remake is becoming very popular among the masses, who have very limited means of entertainment after the closure of cinema halls in the Valley.

The CDs of the movie are selling like hot cakes in Srinagar and other parts of the Kashmir valley.

The Kashmiri Sholay has been directed by Hameed Khan and produced by M Ashraf and Raja Shafi Akbar under the banner of Sangam Sangeet Films with local actors in the cast.

While Bushan Bilori plays Gabbar Singh in the movie, Nasir Khan is Veeru, Hameed Khan (Jai), Reenu (Basanti), Raja Shafi Akbar (Thakur Baldev Singh), Zeenat (Radha) and Anil Bilori is Samba.

''The movie is hilarious. One cannot stop laughing right from beginning till end. Even the otherwise serious scenes in the original movie look funny in the Kashmiri remake. I have thoroughly enjoyed the film,'' said Mohammad Ashraf, a movie buff.

The makers of the Kashmiri version have taken utmost care in ensuring that the movie does not deviate even a bit from the original and filmed it scene by scene from Sholay. Even the songs of the original have been translated in Kashmiri language.

The train scenes have been taken on the trial run of the rail service between Kakapora in south Kashmir to Badgam in central part of the Valley. It would have been impossible for the makers to shoot train scenes in the Kashmir valley a year or so ago.

''There is a huge demand for Kashmiri Sholay. We are running short of CDs now. Even the pirated ones are selling like hot cakes.

We have placed order for more CDs of the remake,'' said Shafqat Ahmed, a video parlour owner.

He said the huge demand could be attributed to the fact that the people in Kashmir now-a-days have limited means of entertainment.


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