Imagine a journalist from Hyderabad comes to Kashmir to cover the current unrest. He meets a Kashmiri girl and love blossoms as the protests continue in the Valley.
This is exactly what director G Ravi Kumar did during the past one month. He shot a love story with the current unrest in Kashmir as the background. And the shooting went on unhindered despite shutdowns, protests, stone pelting, tear gas shelling and pellet gun firing.
The Telugu movie ‘Rose Garden’ stars new comers Nitin Nash and Farnaz Shetty from Mumbai in lead roles.
The story revolves around the lives of a Kashmiri girl and a Hyderabad journalist against the backdrop of militancy in the Valley.
Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani, whose killing by security forces on July 8 plunged Kashmir into the current crisis, also features in the plot.
“It is a love story which flourishes between two young people amidst the violence, a patriotic movie and I am glad that 80% of the film is complete despite the prevailing situation,” said Kumar, who reportedly has worked experience of 30 years working in the film industry.
The Telugu film evolves from love between the lead characters to how they get caught in the situation and finally plan their escape. It will be released next year in January simultaneously in two other languages -- Tamil and Hindi.
Kumar said that when the crew landed in Kashmir they found more security forces than civilians on the streets.
“The situation was such that at first we were frightened and in doubt whether to do shooting or pack up. But then the chief minister, police and tourism officials came forward to help us. They gave us tremendous support, provided security and permissions on fast-track basis. It is due to these reasons that we completed the shooting within a month,” he told a press conference.
The crew shot at picturesque tourist locations like Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Mughal gardens, Dal Lake and many other places.
Since Wani’s death, protests and shutdowns have become routine in the Valley. As many as 90 people have lost their lives in spiralling protests over the past 117 days.
To avoid getting caught in stone pelting or clashes between youth and security forces, the crew would often travel in the wee hours.
Shetty, who is playing Sana as the lead heroine, said people in the valley live under lot of restrictions. “But still they are so warm and hospitable. I never felt more secure here than anywhere else,” she said.