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Bhojpuri bug bites Meera

The Pakistani actress wants to explore regional cinema in India and language doesn't seem to be a big hurdle for her.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2006 20:56 IST

Pakistani actress Meera says she is open to acting in Bhojpuri films, which are watched not just by Indians but by people in her country as well.

"I have no problems about working in a Bhojpuri film," siad Meera.

"If I am working for Hindi films, there is no reason why I would not work in Bhojpuri or any other regional film in India. But it all depends on a good offer," said the actress who was clad in a colourful salwar-kameez.

Meera, who starred in the Bollywood film Nazar, said some friends had told her about the flourishing Bhojpuri film industry and its popularity. Bhojpuri is a dialect of Hindi spoken mostly in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

"I was also told that even in Pakistan some people love to watch Bhojpuri films as their root lies in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, where Bhojpuri is a dominant language."

Meera, however, said she had not yet watched a Bhojpuri film. "During my visit here I met some people speaking Bhojpuri. It sounds sweet but I cannot speak it. I have to take lessons if I want to speak it," she said.

Pakistani actress Meera says she is open to acting in Bhojpuri films, which are watched not just by Indians but by people in her country as well.

She was a little disappointed at not being able to meet Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, who speaks Bhojpuri.

"I was hopeful of meeting Lalu Prasad here but he was not present. I would love to meet him, he is a great man. I have heard a lot about him in Pakistan, Mumbai, New Delhi and Dubai," she said.

The four-decade-old Bhojpuri film industry has been attracting foreign talent since last year.

Tanya, a 27-year-old model from Ukraine, played the title role in the Bhojpuri film Firangi Dulhaniya. She has become the first foreign actress in the industry. The film was inspired by the real life story of a Patna man who went to in Russia and fell in love with a Russian girl and married her and brought her home.

Another foreign actress, 24-year-old Cambridge-educated British actress Jessica Bath, has signed two Bhojpuri films.

These films are popular with millions of people who speak Bhojpuri and belong to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh or have migrated to New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Bhojpuri-speaking people can also be found in Mauritius, Fiji, Suriname and the West Indies.

The popularity of Bhojpuri films has resulted in Bollywood actors and actresses - Amitabh Bachhan, Hema Malini, Shatrughan Sinha, Nagma, Juhi Chawla to name a few - being attracted to it like never before.

First Published: Mar 04, 2006 12:16 IST