"I didn’t have a particularly strong standpoint on the whole India-Pakistan issue."
Despite political tensions between India and Pakistan, artists from both ends of the border are motivated to continue looking at the positives.
Dev D star Kalki Koechlin is one such artist who recently shared her curiosity on finding a more human aspect to Pakistan.
Early in 2016, Kalki took Pakistani fans by surprise as her pictures from her visit to interior Sindh started circulating on Instagram. She was also spotted attending a private party in Karachi.
Later, it was revealed that the Bollywood actress was working for Pakistani filmmaker Sabiha Sumar’s documentary, Azmaish.
The documentary aims to highlight the similarities between the two countries and present a view that focuses on the struggles of ordinary people living in India and Pakistan.
The idea is to examine the socio-cultural landscape of India and Pakistan through the journey of two women.
At the recently held India Today Conclave 2017, Kalki spoke on what drew her to become part of Sabiha Sumar’s project:
“I think it was my neutrality on the subject; I didn’t have a particularly strong standpoint on the whole India-Pakistan issue,” she told reporters, according to IANS.
“From my point of view, I accepted the project out of curiosity. I had never been to Pakistan and I only knew India and Pakistan in terms of conflicts. I wanted to see another aspect, perhaps, a more human aspect.”
While speaking more on her experience of visiting Pakistan, Kalki shared how letting go of preconceived notions helps in looking at people in a different light:
“Once you remove ideologies, you start seeing the people and their struggles. Pakistanis are as terrified of terrorism as anyone else in the world,” she said.
She also added that while travelling with Sabiha across India and Pakistan, she was able to pick on a number of similarities between the two countries:
“In places like Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, I could draw so many similarities between the rural parts of Pakistan in terms of the conservative way to look at women who are voiceless.”
“I also saw how power and religion work closely with each other,” she said.
The ground reality is that India and Pakistan are similar in more ways than a politicised world allows you to imagine.
Both Sabiha Sumar and Kalki Koechlin seem to be on a path to unearth this fact and explore a deeper connection between the people of the two countries than politics.
The documentary is expected to be shown across various international film festivals as well as on German and French television. Parts of it were also screened at the event.