Rasika Duggal on Hamid: Worried about how the film will be perceived
With the Pulwama terror attacks pushing back the release of Rasika Duggal's upcoming film, based in the Valley, from its March 1 date, the actor says she continues to remain apprehensive about the response it will evoke.
Days ahead of Hamid's Friday release, Duggal tells mid-day, "I'm worried about how it will be perceived. This film is a human story set in a conflict situation. When things get politicised, it's necessary to understand what common people feel in the moment. I hope people can have this conversation and not be outraged." Aijaz Khan's offering traces the story of eight-year-old Hamid, who learns that 786 is God's number, and decides to reach out to the almighty by dialling this number, in an attempt to connect with his father, who, his mother tells him, is deceased. When the call is answered, two lives shattered in the strife of Kashmir find a way to be complete again.
"We are striving towards building a harmonious community. I want to help find a middle ground built on dialogue. It must not be rejected by violent views. We should encourage nuanced conversations," says Duggal.
Filming in Kashmir, she says, has been a dream that she nurtured after first shooting in the Valley in 2008. "People are warm and kind. They open their homes and hearts, and tell you their stories with love. They helped me learn my accents. One of the locals helped me catch the nuances. I spent time learning things associated with the residents, like choosing a local [lentil], which my character Ishrat, frequently does."