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Pooja Bhatt recreates Lahore in Mumbai

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Heera Mandi
A major portion of T-Series' Kajraa Re, directed by Pooja Bhatt, will be shot in Mumbai and Pakistan's Heera Mandi will be recreated here for practical purposes. Says Bhushan Kumar of T-Series, "A large part of the story takes place in Pakistan's Heera Mandi in Lahore. But as Pakistan is not a shooting-friendly place and it would cost us much more to get permissions from the ministries in place to shoot Kajraa Re there, we decided to construct a set here in Film City. It's an expensive set costing over Rs 1 crore and has been designed by art director Tarun.

It has a lot of detailing and is an exact replica of Lahore's Heera Mandi. The research has been done by Mahesh and Pooja Bhatt who have been there many times and have lots of references. Pooja is also the creative director." Himesh adds, "Mona Lisa plays the female lead opposite me. It's an intense love story where the girl has been brought up in the red-light area of Heera Mandi. Some very passionate scenes and songs were canned on us last month in the interior sets modelled on Pakistan.

Now a huge modern-day Heera Mandi of Lahore is being created and a major schedule will happen including the climax, which is supposed to have a lot of rustic action including fistfights. I will be taking special training with the stunt guys as I play a stuntman. I play an intense character who goes all out to win his love." Does he kiss Monalisa in the film? Himesh says, "I can't comment on that. You will have to check with Bhushan."

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