Bollywood actor Sonam Kapoor dressed in a bright yellow anarkali suit lit the evening at the Wagah border when she walked into the conference room of the Border Security Force sector headquarters in Amritsar with co-stars Fawad Khan and Kirron Kher.
Shown around chiefly by the BSF deputy inspector general MF Farooqui, Sonam was later spotted conversing with him and his wife.
The star was here with Fawad Khan, a star in his own right on the other side of the border, and Kirron Kher, to promote their upcoming romantic comedy ‘Khoobsurat’, from the Disney stable.
The film will be hitting theatres on September 19 and is adapted from the popular Hollywood film ‘Princess Diaries’ (2001) starring Anne Hathaway, and is loosely based on the 1980 Hrishikesh Mukherjee classic of the same name starring Rekha.
Sonam said she had never in her life been at Wagah border before and was highly excited that her film’s promotional tour had brought her to see the famous flag lowering ceremony attended by thousands on a daily basis.
On this, Fawad Khan says, “This is the first time in my life I would be witnessing the flag lowering ceremony from this (Indian) side of the border. It would be an electrifying experience to be a part of the same.”
Commenting on working in India, he says, “Working in India has always been an overwhelming experience; people here have given me so much love. I feel at home over here and everything is so similar. Our culture, food, language, traditions, etc and at times I wonder why a rift exists between the two nations. I hope I can be an ambassador of love and peace and bring people together from both sides.”
Unlike a lot of other Pakistani actors entering Bollywood, Fawad has been able to create a huge fan base in India. “My first Bollywood film would be releasing in Pakistan on the same day, thus I pray this cross-border effort brings people closer,” he smiles.
Sonam says, “I really wanted to go to Pakistan for the film’s promotion but my schedule did not permit me. But I feel lucky to be at the border today and meet the real heroes who are protecting us day and night.”
Talking about her expectations from her upcoming film, she adds, “I am positive about the film’s success and I am overwhelmed with the response my character (Dr Milli Chakravarty) has got. I have never received a response like this for any of my other films.
Talking to Kirron Kher about her experience of working with her two co-stars, she says, “I play Sonam’s mother and have a major scene with Fawad; it was so much fun working with both. They made me feel at home on the sets.”
After a quick chat, Sonam and Kirron rushed to see The Beating Retreat ceremony but Fawad was cornered by women of every age group and was busy signing autographs and getting clicked. He was able to extricate himself from his admirers with a lot of difficulty. Dressed in a smart grey kurta and pajamas, Fawad finally made it to the ceremony.
The moment the stars took their seats close to the gates, the jawans started with their daily parade. The crowd started cheering for the stars. Sonam, Fawad and Kirron waved back to the crowd and wished them all.
Fawad could not wait for the gates to open so that he could wish his people back home. After the flag lowering ceremony, the gates opened wide for people on both sides of the border.
As they spotted Sonam, Fawad and Kirron, there were loud cheers from the Pakistani side of the border. The Pakistani side stood up and waved and clicked pictures of the stars.
The highly charged atmosphere at the border mingled with loud slogans of ‘Hindustan zindabad’ and ‘Vande Mataram’, truly exuded patriotism.