By: Mahesh Bhatt, IndiaFM
Monday, July 09, 2007
'This is to certify that the film titled Awarapan has been passed for unrestricted public exhibition within the territories of Pakistan'... These words leap out of the censor certificate which has just been faxed to me from Lahore, by my partner Sohail Khan. Its way past midnight and it's pouring cats and dogs here outside my Juhu apartment in Mumbai.
As I stare at this piece of paper which has the emblem of the Government of Pakistan stamped on it, I am filled with a feeling of deep fulfillment.
'If you can dream about it you can certainly do it', said one of the greatest entertainers of the world, Walt Disney.
I too had dreamt a dream four years ago when I first went to Karachi, to attend the Kara film festival. The dream was to dismantle the wall that was built brick by brick by our predecessors on both sides of the border.
A dream to intensify people to people contact between the two countries, who despite of belonging to the same racial stock had become bitter enemies.
The dream to use cinema as a tool to accelerate change and to make this blood soaked region prosperous and peaceful. I could see that through Awarapan I had taken a step to fulfill that dream. Who says that the age miracles are over?
When Awarapan releases today all across Pakistan, a page in history of the Indo-Pak relationship will turn forever. For a change, we in Mumbai would be calling the exhibitors in Lahore and Karachi, instead of Delhi and Chennai, to find out how our film has been received!
And finally for the pirates who have made a fortune at the expense of the entertainment industries of both the countries, the official release of Awarapan may be the beginning of their end.