Kya Dilli Kya Lahore, a cultural extravaganza to be held in January in Delhi, will boost bi-lateral relations between India and Pakistan. Organiser Huma Nassr shares details with Karan Bhardwaj
It is laudable to find artists from India and Pakistan stepping forward to collaborate despite the ongoing cold war between New Delhi and Lahore. At a forthcoming event Kya Dilli Kya Lahore in the Capital, to be organised by Shaan-e-Pakistan, we will see connoisseurs in music, art, fashion and food joining hands to boost bi-lateral relations. “This time, we are bringing some actors of Zindagi channel in India as they are hugely popular here. Actors like Neelam Muneer, Anam Tanveer and SN Khan and singers Syed Asrar Shah and Sanam Marvi will be coming to India,” says Huma Nassr, a Pakistan-based designer and organiser of the event.
Huma also met ace Indian designer Rohit Bal recently to seek support for the ‘cause’. “It was great meeting him. The outcome was positive as he committed his presence at the show,” she says. Talking about fashion, Huma, a couturier herself, says we have shared history for centuries but the new generation is excited to learn about our cultures. “We will bring couture designers from Pakistan who will demonstrate grandeur of our marriages through their shows. Like Indian weddings, Pakistan too celebrates marriages with great pomp and show. We have outfits for different occasions,” she says.
Besides fashion, food is going to be another major focus. “We’ll bring Pakistan-special delicacies and some of the best caterers known for their rich history. We are roping in Indian chefs and food brands too,” she says.
At the last edition of Shaan-e-Pakistan event that took place in Lahore, Indian celebrities like Zeenat Aman and Rekha Bhardwaj besides a gamut of vocalists, fashion designers and chefs had participated. Huma says she was elated to receive tremendous feedback. “I was surprised when guests stayed back till 3 o’clock in night to catch complete performance of Rekha Bhardwaj and kept requesting her to sing more,” she informs.
Going through diplomatic hassles to bring hundreds of people together from both sides is no cakewalk. But Huma has learnt her lessons and is getting better at dealing with paperwork. “We all know there are difficulties when it comes to organise such cultural exchange programmes. Logistics and NOCs are given at the last moment which should not happen. There are hindrances but both the countries should acknowledge our commitment and consistency in this endeavour,” she says.
Last year, Huma claims, over 30,000 people thronged the exposition. This time, “we are expecting even more.” She has plans to extend the event to Mumbai but there are political apprehensions. “Last year, I got so many threatening calls from people claiming to be from Shiv Sena. They were like, ‘why are you doing this event?’ I am expecting such notifications this time too,” she says.
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