Mumbai, March 31 : Ehan Bhat, who is born and brought up in picturesque Kashmir, is all set for his debut as a Bollywood hero in the upcoming film "99 Songs", which is, incidentally, also Oscar-winning composer AR Rahmans first film as a producer.
The debutant opens up about Kashmir getting a lot of the spotlight lately, for a new set of talents emerging from the state. Television stars Hina Khan, Asim Riaz and Aly Goni, who became household names on "Bigg Boss", are from the region, as is Danish Renzu. director of the much-feted new film "The Illegal".
He feels it is the tumultuous situation and conflicts prevalent in the region that often prevent Kashmiris from following their dreams.
"Kashmir in itself is engrossed in art and culture. It is just the situations and conflicts that are there have dominated people, (preventing them) from following their dreams. But I think slowly everything is changing," Ehan told IANS.
Renzu, for one, is someone whose success makes him proud. "Danish (Renzu) is a great friend. His film was listed for the Oscars. Then you have Ehan... I hope people get inspired by us being in Bollywood and they follow the trail that we followed and be a part of this industry as well," he said.
He hopes to be a role model for his community. "I get a lot of direct messages from Kashmir asking what are the ways to be in Bollywood. If all goes well, I can be their role model, for my community, for Kashmiris," said the budding actor.
Ehan is a talent discovered by Rahman, and the newcomer is spellbound by the Oscar-winning composer.
"Ever since I was a boy, I was a fan of (AR Rahman). I had his cassettes and CDs. I have, all my life, been a fan of sir. I hoped that one day I would get into this profession and I wished and hoped that someday I'd do some film that Rahman sir would do music in it," he said.
Ehan continued: "How little did I know that I would get a film produced by Rahman sir and with music and story by him! It's a dream come true for any actor who is starting out. Once you meet him in person you will be spellbound by him. I am overwhelmed." "99 Songs" casts Ehan features alongside Edilsy Vargas in the musical film, slated to hit theatres on April 16.
Directed by Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy, the film has been presented by Jio Studios, produced by AR Rahman's YM Movies.
(Durga Chakravarty can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text