For renowned Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan, the locale for her latest song sequence could just not be better. Srinagar's Tulip Garden Tuesday not only fascinated Khan, but also convinced her this was the ultimate shooting destination.
"We have wandered in Europe and America for many years as Kashmir had remained unavailable for us. This is really the ultimate destination for all the filmmakers whose stories and theme are powered by nature," Saroj told IANS.
She not only choreographed the song for "Kaash Tum Hote", featuring Priya Kapoor and Mukesh Bharti, but also did the directorial honours as the film's director, Israr Khan was indisposed Tuesday.
The veteran choreographer said she had come to Kashmir with a Shammi Kapoor film unit before militancy broke out in the Valley.
"This is for the first time I have come to choreograph a song in Kashmir as things are fast returning to normal here.
"I have always believed and today my belief has been redoubled that Kashmir is the place where you see a dream and can finally realise it," she said.
Saroj said she has seen film shooting locations across the world, but nothing compares with the phenomenal wealth that nature has bestowed this land with.
"The eternal relationship between Kashmir and Bollywood needs to be reaffirmed and carried forward with renewed zeal and vigour", she asserted.
One thing she regrets is the use of cement concrete that she has been seeing around the city and other places.
"Cement and iron does not gel with the tradition and beauty of Kashmir. You need to preserve your traditional architecture which has a definite central Asian overtone.
"Wood and brick with latticed windows and balconies is what comes to mind when we think of Kashmir's majestic architecture. Cement and iron does not go down well with the overall picture one has in mind about this land," she said.
Dozens of locals and tourists visiting the Tulip Garden remained glued to the shooting and the dancing steps Saroj taught the hero and the heroine of the film.
Confident of a peaceful summer, authorities here are expecting Bolywood to return back to Kashmir with a bang this year.
Early next month, superstar Salman Khan is expected to shoot the sequel of "Dabangg" in the Valley.