Director Abhishek Choubey is hard at work, trying to wrap up Dedh Ishqiya that stars Madhuri Dixit, Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi. The film is shot in an Awadhi setting, so keeping in flavour with the region, he has decided to add a traditional qawwali to the soundtrack. The song is written by Gulzar and composed by Vishal Bhardwaj, the film’s co-producer.
The director says, “The film is set in a specific world and has a unique mood, feel and texture. A qawwali fits in perfectly as it evokes a certain kind of nostalgia. Today’s generation associates the qawwali era as boring, but in this film, it syncs well with the world that it’s set in.”
They recorded in Mumbai and with some qawwals in Pakistan. “It’s a lovely track. It comes at an important point in the film where the story is unravelling at a very rapid pace. Shooting it was going to be a challenge, so we thought of asking the qawwals from Pakistan to come and shoot, but it didn’t work out,” explains Abhishek.
They thought of casting regular actors too, but soon dropped the idea. “Ultimately we decided to cast professional qawwals. We found a group in a village near Lucknow who have been performing for generations. We were worried about whether they would get the lip sync right, but they nailed it in a few takes. Shooting with them was an absolute delight,” he says.