Bollywood heart throb Salman Khan's first ever shooting schedule in Kashmir valley may have been dampened by rains on Sunday, but the actor kept himself busy understanding the Kashmir issue and the issues of people.
In tourist hotspot Pahalgam, 100 km south of Srinagar, Khan was bewitched by the mountain range where he is putting up to shoot for renowned director Kabir Khan's 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan'. "This place seems photoshopped," Khan was quoted by locals saying in appreciation of the beauty of the valley. Though, he was put off by the levels of pollution in the valley.
Khan, whose first day of his first-ever shooting in Kashmir kept delaying due to wet weather, was seen busy posing with locals and enquiring about Kashmir problem. In fact, the shooting was delayed in the last too due to incessant rains.
"What do people want here? What are their issues? What is K-problem," superstar Khan kept asking locals, in an apparent bid to understand the world's most complex political problem that has marred the state with more than two decades of violence.
Director Khan is planning to shoot at all three famous tourist destinations of Gulmarg, Sonamarg and Pahalgam with snow-laden slopes and meadows. These places will provide a backdrop for the movie last leg shooting schedule where a few shots of action, war and a song will be filmed, said sources.
Khan's shooting schedule flags off the Bollywood's return to the valley after it suffered badly in last year's floods. The Bollywood's return is bound to help dispel notions among tourists too and may act as a good omen.
"Khan's presence will definitely motivate others and people in general to come to the valley. The September 2014 floods struck a dent to the tourism industry," said Khalif Khan, a tour operator of Pahalgam.
Rising star and method actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui is also joining Khan for the shooting. Local artist Mir Sarwar is also being roped in by director Kabir Khan to do a cameo in the film.
Khan joins the league of other Bollywood Khans like Shahrukh Khan and Amir Khan to keep tryst with Kashmir. Given traditional reception, Khan, sources said, may stay for a couple of weeks in the valley.
Security has been beefed up at the shooting sites with Khan being a major heart throb among locals, who have lined up to see the star for selfies and autographs.