JAMMU: In this male dominant code of culture where it is hard for women to survive especially when she hails from conservative society it becomes more harder to make her name and rise.  Tahima Qazmi, a strong radiant woman, journalist and anchor by profession refuse to let such adversities confined her.  Seldom are some lucky enough by their providence or by wisdom who make to the mark and are only those who toil under all pressures and adversaries to achieve the ultra mundane.

She is yesteryears a journalist in a conflict torn state of Jammu and Kashmir, a place almost in echo to any peace but surely in contrast to developing and progressing demeanor of any mankind. Yet the fragile, subtle, but strongly attuned to her journalistic pursuits, Tahima gave a dimensional perspective to her endeavors in the field, scaled successful milestones, and earned a distinct conspicuousness of high indelibility.

But proudly she says that all realistic pursuits in journalism should cut across the global barriers and contains a connect that gels loudly the love, unity and brotherhood. A multi faced journalist Tahima scored points ahead of all her contemporaries in the field by undertaking herculean tasks to cover the conflict zones in Jammu and Kashmir and reported events from the most impregnable locations where a normal would fear to venture. 

Sporting immense predilection to cover the highly volatile terrains terror attacks and risk  prone vulnerable areas in the conflict region, Tahima turn out to be a marvelous insignia for the her female fraternity to be followed by later of her clique. Reporting, anchoring performed extensive public speeches, developing creative news researches and stories of human interest and consumption, she jumped into electronic media functions while  analyzing and providing feedback for studio and sound techniques. 

She received high acknowledgement from her network directors’ elite professors’ staff and co workers for her superior job performance creativity work. Before flying to Toronto, Canada she had left behind an indelible mark of a great woman journalist. “Being with associated with state and national media I accomplished great recognition, Besides my association with many leading brands of India it has given me immense confidence which made me stand out of crowd”, she added.

Working for North America's third largest company broadcasting company in Toronto, Canada was a huge achievement for her. “During my  tenure in the company I worked for Disney Networks, Nickelodeon, YTV, CMT and many more wherein I supervised daily presentation schedule which includes commercials that goes on air. In addition I used to co ordinate with programming on air promotions which includes sales and media planning”, she said.    

She says while her journey around States and Canada she has come in close co ordination with women  ideology and their deportment towards life in foreign land facing situation that arise unconventionally yet fail to diffuse their spirit. She intends to shape her past experience and expertise in generating a consensus among the diametrically drawn women from different conflict zones of the world for the peaceful engagement in work culture.

This could lend a vision to establish women form my country and particularly Jammu and Kashmir to be empowered in a real sense and take back home a sense of realization, she talks from The States. Here Tahima turns out to be one among the "Chosen few" by the almighty who bestowed his choicest blessings upon her to pursue her unique conception for world peace order.

NEW DELHI: Rising star, Sana Dua is all set to represent Jammu & Kashmir in finale after she was crowned as Femina Miss India Jammu & Kashmir 2017 in North Zone crowning event, the grand finale of Femina Miss India 2017 is slated to take place in June this year.  Femina Miss India 2017 will be the 54th edition of the pageant. During the conclusion of the pageant, Priyadarshini Chatterjee will pass on her crown to her successor. The winner of Femina Miss India 2017 will represent India at Miss World 2017 and the runner ups will represent India at Miss Grand International 2017 and Miss Supranational 2017. 
 
The third zonal crowning ceremony of Femina Miss India 2017 took place in the capital city, New Delhi on April 16, 2017 at the Leela Palace. During the north zone crowning of Femina Miss India 2017, state representatives from Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Himanchal Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab were crowned.
 
During the coronation gala of Femina Miss India North 2017, Sana Dua was crowned as Femina Miss India Jammu & Kashmir 2017, former Miss Asia Pacific India, Anukriti Gusain was titled as Femina Miss India Uttarakhand 2017, Shefali Sood was adjudged as Femina Miss India Uttar Pradesh 2017, Manushi Chhillar was crowned as Femina Miss India Haryana 2017, Adya Shrivastava was declared as Femina Miss India Madhya Pradesh 2017. During the same event Santoshi Ranaut was crowned as Femina Miss India Himanchal Pradesh 2017, while Femina Miss India Delhi 2017 title went to Maira Chowdhury. Neha Dhupia is mentoring the North Zone participants. Meanwhile, last year Top 5 finalist of Femina Miss India, Navpreet Kaur walked home with the title of Femina Miss India Punjab 2017.
  • “Kashmir issue is not to be handled by kids, it will be resolved politically”
  • “Hartal, Curfew, Jihad etc words are carcinogenic for the roots of Kashmir”

JAMMU: Suggesting Kashmir youth to study well, have best education and stay away from drugs, Dr Heena Bhat advised the Kashmir youth that Kashmir issue is not to be handled by kids, it will be resolved politically. She said that the Hartal, Curfew, Jihad etc words are carcinogenic for the roots of Kashmir adding thatHum Kya Chahtey Azadi is the deadliest line for Kashmir which has given us graveyards. 

While talking to Ajmer Alam Wani, Editor-in-Chief of JK Monitor (www.jkmonitor.org), Dr Heena Bhat, a strong woman who contested last assembly election as a BJP candidate from Kashmir, is not only pained by seeing Kashmir burning but also has an ambition to bring change in Kashmir believes that talking about things with what today's youth is not even concerned, is ruining future of Kashmir.   

According to Dr. Heena, Kashmir has not right leadership which is resulting in loosing hundreds of loved ones every year and blamed the present leadership in Kashmir of misguiding and using embedded sentiment of Kashmiri for their own personal interests. 

Dr Heena boldly says that shutdowns are not going to help Kashmir issue and asked what have we gained since decades of hartal protests, except loosing loved ones, Economy loss, depression, drug abuse, mental harassment of youth. Dr Heena wants her son and other kids to breathe in peaceful air and grow happily. 

Stuck cause of unwanted social bonding, woman in Kashmir can bring change in the whole scenario, provided they are given wings to fly and support from family for doing best in every field, Dr Heena believe.   

Here are few questions which JK Monitor asked Dr Heena and here is what she replied, we tried to present her views in original form without any unnecessary editing so her real message and emotions can reach in pure form to the readers. 

Q: Being a doctor by profession, what compelled you to divert your career to be a politician, and what were the circumstances that played a role and influenced your decision? 

Ans:  I believe doctors serve people so does politics, but doctors are respected and politicians rarely respected. I was always interested in this field as my father late Mohammad Shafi Bhat, my mentor, my inspiration, my idol. I would always watch him doing best for people during peak militancy since 1990. I wanted to step into his shoe, his work, his idea of serving people, and my fathers’ health played major role. 

Q: There were many political parties like National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Congress and others but what were factors that motivated you to join BJP? 

Ans: National Conference (NC) leadership (Farooq Abdullah) changed in Kashmir, with rest of them I was not comfortable and PM influenced me to join BJP.  His vision of development, Atal Ji’s peace process movement for India Pakistan.  I sstrongly believe Kashmir issue will be somehow resolved during Modi Ji’s tenure. I thought things in Kashmir will change with change. My ideas match a lot with PM’s vision regarding Kashmir.  

Q: What basic differences you see in the policies of BJP, NC, PDP Congress with regard to Kashmir? 

Ans: There is huge difference in all parties in Kashmir. National parties vision is broader while rregional parties have only talked about history and are making history out of Kashmir every year.  

Q: The Kashmir sees bloodbath and violence almost all the time, what according to you are real reasons that are making the Kashmir society to go for routine shutdowns and suffer each time? 

Ans:  Hartal, curfew, jihad etc words are carcinogenic for the roots of Kashmir. Talking about history, talking about things with what today's youth is not even concerned, is ruining future of Kashmir. Loosing hundreds of loved ones every year, reason is that they don’t have right leadership. Present leadership in Kashmir are misguiding them and have been using embedded sentiment of Kashmiri for their own personal interests. Shutdowns are not going to help Kashmir issue. What have we gained since decades of hartal protests, except loosing loved ones, Economy loss, depression, drug abuse, mental harassment of youth.  

Q: What according to you, Kashmir issue or Kashmir problem is exactly, historically and presently? 

Ans: Kashmir is a political issue .it is a topic globally only discussed; political parties take advantage of every issue for their interests.  Who is talking about resolving the issue? Youth has to be guided for right path of education, success, normal life, which every Kashmiri deserves. We ourselves need to change the mindset, if we want our children, next generations to survive a normal peaceful life. Historically whatever has happened has happened, why we should suffer presently for past.  

Q: Do you think the peace will rule the Kashmir and violence will disappear completely, what measures you suggest for it and who are the real stakeholders who can contribute in maintaining peace in Valley? 

Ans: Why can't we think of bright future of Kashmir?  If it hurts the sentiment of anyone that Kashmir is integral part of India let's speak India is integral part and is with Kashmir. Every Kashmiri belonging to any party, cast, creed, is stake holder undoubtedly.  Politicians in Kashmir who have sold their souls to agencies are the ones who don’t want peace in Kashmir. Everybody is making money over dead bodies of Kashmiri and they are not outsiders.  

Q: Being a Kashmiri woman, how you see the plight of women in Kashmir, is there need of any change in their thinking, perception, and living style or everything is up to mark? 

Ans: Employment schemes for all sectors have to be introduced and upgraded. ‘Hum Kya Chahtey Azadi is the most deadly line for Kashmir which has given usgraveyards ,’Zindagi Se Hi Azadi Dila Rahen Hain’. We need to change slogan. We all Kashmiris can bring this change. In all these decades women have suffered as mother loosing son, sister lost brother, wife lost husband, daughter lost father, half widows. Women been tortured by both. Women have suffered the most.  

Q: How women of Kashmir can contribute in bringing everlasting peace in Kashmir valley? 

Ans: I believe woman is strong and can bring change in the whole scenario. And I see lots of women are coming up. They are homemakers they can make their country as well. We need good education system for women.  Shukar Alhamdulillah Kashmir is still safe regarding women as compare to other states. They should be given wings to fly, support from family for doing best in every field.  Lots of girls, women want to bring the change but are stuck, because of unwanted social bonding.  

Q: What message you would like to give to youngsters of Kashmir, especially girls and women? 

Ans: My message is study well; Kashmir issue is not to be handled by kids. It will be resolved politically.  Have best education, stay away from drugs, don want to see ‘Udta’ Kashmir.  

Q: Tell us about yourself as person, a human being and what are your future plans for Kashmir Valley in particular?  

Ans: As a person I am very strong woman, I will be in politics for rest of my lifeWill bring change in Kashmir.  Can't see Kashmir burningI want my son and other kids to breath in peaceful air and grow happily.

  • Women always have to remember to have their self respect intact, no matter what. If they start throwing themselves to wolves they won’t be spared for anything. You never have to be food to their desires but to be desirable to their thoughts to create the persona you want to be on screen.

Actress by birth Aartii Naagpal JAMMU: The hardship and pain of Kashmir women has no comparison, they deserve salute. Glamour world is nothing, they have bigger and better platform of world with a small internet connection in their hands. They are stars by birth. These were not just words but a real emotional outburst of actress/model/writer/directorAartii Naagpal, during an interview with Ajmer Alam Wani, Editor-in-Chief of JK Monitor (www.jkmonitor.org).

Born in the family of actor/writer /director /producer /silent film maker & freedom fighter Shri. Vitthaldas Panchotia, actress by birth Aartii Naagpal felt sorry over the happenings in Kashmir and expressed her solidarity with those women who are acting positively for growth.

In her message to the Kashmir women, Aartii said, “I have seen many you-tube videos of few women acting positively for their growth. I will say keep it up to them who are working for positive empowerment of Kashmiri women. They will see the light one day. My prayers are with them” 

As the youngsters these days are turning up towards glamour world with an aim to earn name, fame and wealth, here comes an advice from one among the senior actresses Aartii Naagpal who have seen many ups and downs in life and have established herself in the entertainment industry.

Aartii Naagpal, made it clear for the youngsters that there are no compromises in case of your prized possession that is your self respect. If you don’t wish to give in to the situation there is nothing and nobody can bend you down to their needs. Choice of action is very important in life always. 

She told JK Monitor that in glamour world, exploitation of morals exists, whether its new comers finding short cuts to reach their desires or the makers using the desperation of new comers it depends totally on the decisions each one has taken.

Aartii, advised that women always have to remember to have their self respect intact, no matter what. If they start throwing themselves to wolves they won’t be spared for anything. You never have to be food to their desires but to be desirable to their thoughts to create the persona you want to be on screen.

Being in the industry for so many years she noticed one thing thoroughly is no matter how much manipulation one does to get first chance in their life the only thing which will make them sustain is their talent, pure talent and nothing else.  There are many one film star boys and girls forgotten and gone forever.

Here are few related questions asked by JK Monitor and directly replied by Aartii Naagpal.

Q: Being the firm believer of the fact "Be the change you want to see” what you suggest, how the status of women in India can be brought at par with that of men?

Ans   First of all I am glad that my thought has inspired you to ask me about my own belief. There is so much happening outside (away from our souls) that we have forgotten we have the power within. Any movement or action which has ever begin its always have been from that one powerful believer who initiated the change first within himself. Then to the world we have many examples one of them is Mahatma Gandhi Ji.  I do what I believe in, I focus, I work & I activate all my action first from within myself then expect anybody else to follow me.

Q: As you are a writer by inheritance, what inspired you to go for writing and what was focal point of your first write-up?

 Ans:  Some people breakdown when they go through bad relationship.  I learnt a lot out of ugliest marriage I have gone through.  My first short film written by me ‘DAILY RAPE’ was an episode from my own life. I am my own inspiration. I choose to pick positivity out of shit thrown at me. My pain is my food for growth.

Q: Being in the entertainment world for a long time, what you observed and experienced, what are the basics that help new comers to be successful in the entertainment world and sustain for longer?

Ans After so many years I have noticed one thing thoroughly is no matter how much manipulation one does to get first chance in their life the only thing which will make them sustain is their talent, pure talent and nothing else. There are many one film star boys and girls forgotten and gone forever. ‘One step at a time ‘ that should be the mantra. Messed up people & actions don’t lead path of bright sunshine. 

Q: Do you agree that exploitation of new comers in the entertainment exists, and one has to compromise to keep going in the glamorous entertainment industry world?

Ans:  Yes exploitation of morals exists. Now whether its new comers finding short cuts to reach their desires or the makers using the desperation of new comers it depends totally on the decisions each one has taken. There are no compromises in case of your prized possession that is your self respect. If you don’t wish to give inn to the situation there is nothing & nobody can bend you down to their needs. Choice of action is very important in life always. 

Q: There have been occasional reports of compromise and exploitation of women artists in the entertainment world especially with those who are new to this industry, what is the reality behind it and who are those people who become easily victims? 

Ans: I think I answered your question in previous one already .one can twist & turn same thought in 100 ways answers will be same.  Women always have to remember to have their self respect intact, no matter what. If they start throwing themselves to wolves they won’t be spared for anything. You never have to be food to their desires but to be desirable to their thoughts to create the persona you want to be on screen.

Q: What lines would you like to draw for the new comers so they can not fall prey to those few who always look for opportunities to exploit of force the new comers for compromise?

Ans: New comers have to know first of all they are new comers & not stars.  They suffer coz they assume the moment they enter industry is sitting with red carpet to shower flowers on them. Every star which has shined has gone through the pain of sharpening the rough ends finishing was given to them by their makers. Patience plays powerful role in this. Finish your homework then jump for exams, there will be less chances of becoming prey to any odds. Now a days, internet is the biggest platform for nay new comer to prove themselves.

Q: What is your mission of life and what contributions would you like to offer for the welfare of women in particular and society in general?

Ans: I am still young enough to have mission but yes I desire to empower women in many ways. Any girl child should learn self defense compulsory. Their strength is their ability to believe in themselves and act upon their dreams later. I want all mothers to know their rights of being wife, knowing all the logistic of life, whether it’s their banking or earning money or saving for their own old age. Relationships have lost their vitality, being alert all the time with their documents and their monetary system is as important as taking care of their whole family. Being completely powerful in all dimensions is essential for all the women. I would like to work in this direction.

Q: Tell us about yourself as a person, what exactly you are as a person, as a human being?

 

Ans: I am simple soul, working towards my salvation.  I am trying to finish my karma, I try not to hurt anybody possibly with my will, if incase I do unknowingly I would like to say sorry here. I am done with human life and its all the relativity once I had hurt my mom in childhood then I lost her, since then I wish to move towards to meet her. I wish to slowly immerse in the sand where god lives. I have been luckiest child of god because he has always loved me more then I could to him. The simple reason is I am still alive with all the amenities I require without taking much effort. I am thankful for all I am today to him. I am an actress by birth as born in film background family but I would like to be woman with heart post my death.

JAMMU: Though it is a tough job to be student and at the same belonging to an industry to which every girl is passionate about being among the top, but for Anjum Poonawala everything goes with ease and the hard work guides her to the success one after the other step.

Anjum Poonawala’s views about modelling industry is that is not only luck factor or hard work but networking and connection plays an important role. She believes that if one is highly influential person he or she gets modelling assignments, which is not too hard. Being a student of Management, Anjum Poonawala has worked with top brands and top designers of the industry. She was an Airtel Grid Girl model in the year 2011.

Anjum Poonawala has also worked with brands like Shoppers Stop, Bawree Sarees in association with an agency, walked a ramp for a very popular fashion institute, worked for a print campaign, catalogues for a boutique, website covering for Lakme Designer. 

She also auditioned for Lakme fashion week this season in July 2016. She summed up her experience as “every time it is not a cupcake for you and I will keep trying till I am through, sometimes the struggle has to be deep and even if your hope is shaken by your loss just be satisfied and remember God and that God's immense grace on you that He will work somewhere, may be better plans in store for you and that loosing will be just a phase. Make it a proud moment that at-least you got a chance to participate which will keep you focused and will never let you loose hope and that your participation is important too”.

She told JK Monitor that her journey was not very fast but was smooth; she further added that got an opportunity to stand as an Airtel Grid Girl model for an International Buddh race held in Noida.  Her advice for every girl passionate about chasing dreams in modelling industry is to have very good self control.  She further said that passionate girls need to choose assignment not only as per their requirement but even as per their visibility which will show your own character portray in media.

Anjum Poonawala further added that the only thing she kept getting assignment is she accepts all the opportunities coming her way with lot of conviction without making much of a fuss which every Indian model gets into.  She explained that the Indian models have tendency to make fuss about the whole show that run's in and around them so be it make up, hair, styling, clothes, designers (appearance given to you by them), other co-models and so forth. 

She believes that the people working with a Model needs less of a tantrum and more of a work for their investment (time and money) and Model have to go with what investors actually would like to see in you.  “They would never risk their profile by hiring you and getting you things that every Indian model feels will not suit them”, she said.

For Anjum Poonawala, her journey has been quite worthwhile for she was fortunate to get associated with big and renowned brands and designers as a beginner.  She said that models need a good positive attitude and ability to network, to get stable in the industry. That is how she survived with her links and connects. Anjum Poonawala hoped that her journey continues with lot of good work showcasing her talent and ability to project as a style statement for her people.

Born and brought up in a family with moderate values in Mumbai, her father happens to be a Real Estate Consultant and mother a homemaker.  Anjum said that her parents never had an issue but in the beginning when she brought up her passion in front of them and as her own choice they had some disagreements but all she could convey was that it was her passion and not her profession, an experience she should learn. 

She disclosed that her parents never had a great concern but also there had been no support, no encouragement.  Anjum divulge, “When it goes like all you need to do it alone struggle seems to be bit more but my desire was so strong that I was happy to use my effort and make it through the real.  It is all fine when one morning they woke up seeing my picture in Times of India newspaper. My mother was so happy to see me there and there you realise you crossed one level and all charged to go to the next for that very smile on my people's face will show I achieved my bit”.  

Anjum completed her Management from Rizvi Academy of Management Studies where Director was of a great inspiration. “Before stepping into modelling world nothing was pre decided but what actually enhanced my arena was the confidence that was build up during my management days. I feel, along with passion one needs to complete education to lift up confidence so much that grooming outer side is not enough but one need a strong polishing within. The inner self needs to be self motivated and guarded that even if one experience loss can strongly look up in times where you see your lows”.  

“I do not carry any support but my own individual support alone. No friends, who would see and hear my success stories, be proud, cheer me, encourage me to do better and more”.  “Loosing for me is a game of fortune, for I loose once but I gain double of it, is what my potential as a dreamer. Making my dream into reality is what I believe and it happens only when you are happy to accept even your small success and acknowledge it. I have always been same I am so happy to see and receive my littlest of success because I did it my way and not working through anyone else’s principles”.   

“You do have idols, you do have people you see and want to become like them but for me I don’t have any particular person for me. I don’t want to live their life, learn from their stories and make a change yet having own identity and style of living that people would see all together different individual in you and learning from you just the way you did because I see everyone has different experiences and different destinations”, she concluded.

  • “Innocent Kashmiris believe in what they hear, even the educated ones”.
  • “I was in Kashmir in February was saddened to see it dry and a bit life less. The faces of village people looked sad. It wrung a chord in my heart”.

Photo credit Shivam Saxena JAMMU: The European looks, hazel green eyes, sun kissed bronzed complexion, blessed by an Italian gene in her lineage, shaken and stirred with svelte figure, complimented with a dash of bountiful intellect, smoothed out with a sensuous and delicious crunchy voice, crooning out verses, is all you will find in Vandana Vadehra.

By profession, a playback singer, performer, award winning MC from JAI, Lyricist, composer and actress while talking to Ajmer Alam Wani, Editor-in-Chief of JK Monitor , said that the biggest obstacle to peace in Kashmir is its own people and the warped up wrong politicians. According to Vandana, innocent Kashmiris believe in what they hear, even the educated ones.

She suggested that if you learn to use your own discretions and not be swayed by instigation from outsiders, then make your own judgments.  She advised that they should fathom the fact that all answers lie within themselves, in their hearts if they just seek it with all honesty, then peace is not that hard to restore.

Replying to a question about her willingness to contribute to Kashmir society, she said, “I am a singer anchor actress, I also teach modulation phonetic diction communication skills, fashion, grooming, and etiquettes. One way would be taking such classes in schools and colleges and boot camps for women too. Second would be performing for the concerts and college festivals there held for a cause”.

When asked how she sees Kashmir, Vandana replied, “Well, not how I see but how I want to see Kashmir, well I want to comprehend Kashmir as an Unscathed Virgin with its splendor, as it was in the olden days gone by, as I had heard my grandparents, who hail from Peshawar, relate the tales of bountiful resources, hypnotic hills, verdant vales, lush greenery and vagrant flowers, innocent people with a beauty known world over.”

In response to another question, she suggested that Bollywood should promote oneness in their Plots based on Kashmir, just the way Bajrangi Bhaijaan did. That is the only way for people there and world over, to realize that we are one, Kashmiris are Indians, and Kashmir is NOT just an Islamic state, (“as most Kashmiris believe which I realized after being in conversation with several locals there”) it’s a part of what the world, especially Uzbekistan Afghanistan etc STILL refers to as ‘HINDUSTAN’! That is the name we were known by, for centuries.

On Kashmir tourism promotion across the globe, she said, “One way I feel is through Bollywood movies, documentaries, international film festivals and a strong marketing strategy by the Government of India at the Centre.

On shortcomings, she belive that shortcomings are there but none that cannot be overcome and suggested that attractive holiday packages with assurance of safety of tourists would help a great deal.

When asked about methodology that can divert Kashmiri youngsters towards entertainment world, she replied, “Its upon our directors and producers in Bollywood to give more and more opportunities to youngsters in Kashmir in all fields, be it music, direction, acting production, photography, cinematography etc. as it is the Kashmiri youth are very good looking and have the best of genes.

Summing-up about her recent visit of Kashmir, she recalled, “I was in Kashmir in February, was saddened to see it dry and a bit life less. The faces of village people looked sad. It wrung a chord in my heart”.

Relevant to mention here that with B.Sc Hons in Botany, LLB,[Law] , Diploma Fashion Designing  NIFT,  the name Vandana Vadehra is synonymous with sensual husky baritone vocals, ranging from a mellow soft key to a high pitched falsetto, traversing a plethora of musical range, emotions, modulations’ and situations, packaged in this exclusive singer’s and MC’s voice! A live-wire stage performer par excellence, she can belt out melodies in English, Hindi and Punjabi, the languages, on which she has impeccable command and occasionally chooses to have a fling with Telgu, Bangla, Marathi and Spanish too!

The wit in her anchoring shows, sense of humour, intellectual acuity makes her a favourite with all clients. Her impeccable baritone, vocals switching into a pleasant
falsetto enthral the audience in her singing events.  Be it English rock Pop, Ballads, Hindi Bollywood, with a band or on tracks, she enchants the crowd with her interactive performance even in the most sombre of shows.

The events she conducts as an anchor, for classy and panache crowd, leaves the audience mesmerised by her impeccable command on the English language, while her intonations, wit, subtle humour, pensive punches draw a splatter of understated mirth! She slips into the guise of a Hindi language host with equal ease and can hold fort with her clean diction, beautiful aura, and glamorous persona sprinkled with a dash of singing abilities need to make a perfect on stage recipe!

She has conducted 2500 plus Stage shows in 5 Continents, 18 Countries, 300 plus Cities for over 2000 plus happy clients and got 5 awards besides getting impressive over 3000 press coverages.

Being the great granddaughter of Dhyan Chand Malhotra, 1st cousin of the legend Prithvi Raj Kapoor, Art and Music flow abundantly in her blood. Her mother late Mrs Meera Vadehra being her teacher of English literature language, Phonetics, art and theatre, contributed to the artist in her and her father rendered the baritone voice. She has Anchored shows/Sung and shared stage with Hollywood stars like John Travolta, Jennifer Lopez, Foo Fighters, SMOKIE etc.

International Feathers in Her CAP:Photo credit Shivam Saxena

INDO-ATLANTA MUSIC FESTIVAL, IN GEORGIA ATLANTA, WITH INTERNATIONAL STARS LIKE, JENNIFER LOPEZ, JESSICA SIMPSON, FOO FIGHTERS AND THE LIKE in JULY 2004

-NEWYORK FASHION WEEK OPENING ACT-JUNE 2004

-MTV GRIND IN KATHMANDU AT HYATT…MAY 2004

-MUSCAT PERFORMING WITH SUKHBIR FOR THE SULTAN OF OMAN DEC 2005

-INDO US FESTIVAL COVERING CITIES LIKE CHICAGO, SAN DIEGO, PHILADELPHIA ETC

SHE CAME BACK FROM A ROCKING TOUR OF UK,IN APRIL 2006, AFTER ENTHRALLING AUDIENCES, WHERE SHE WAS THE ONLY PERFORMER TO BE FLOWN IN FROM INDIA TO PERFORM AT THE EASTERN EYE ASIAN BUSINESS AWARDS 2006, HONOURING THE LIKES OF LAXMI MITTAL CHAIRED BY PRINCE CHARLES AND CHERIE BLAIR-COVERED BY BBC, CNN, CNBC ETC.

-COVERED CITIES LIKE LONDON AMSTERDAM, FOR PRIVATE WEDDING DO’S IN AUGUST2006

-PERFORMED IN GREECE, ATHENS, AT THE ATHENS INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL FESTIVAL’2006!

-SHOWS IN MALAYSIA FOR HAVELL’S IN NOV 2006!

-NOV 3RD 2007 PERFORMED AT THE SINDHI COMMUNITY DIWALI BALL, AT MAYFAIR HOTEL, UK, MIDDLESEX, LONDON!

-4TH DECEMBER 2007, SHE WINS THE HEARTS OF THOUSANDS IN MUSCAT WITH HER CHARISMA PANACHE ELEGANCE N STYLE!

-14th FEBRUARY PERFORMED AND ANCHORED MUSCAT

SHOPPING FESTIVAL GRAND FINALE AT THE AMPHITHEATRE WITH BOLLYWOOD STARS LIKE ANNU MALIK, KIM SHARMA ETC.!

-HAMBURG-26TH 27TH APRIL 2008, 2009,  2011, SINGING AT THE DAMATOR AUDI FOR THE GERMAN PUBLIC AND THE AFGHAN HINDUS SETTLED THERE AT THE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS

-BERLIN 8TH AND AMSTERDAM 20TH MAY 2013, GERMAN INDO FESTIVAL

-BANGKOK FOR VIDEOCON R AND R AWARDS APRIL 2015, AND FOR ASIAN PAINTS IN 2010

-TASHKENT, SAMARKHAND AND ALMATI AND BALI FOR ASIAN PAINTS IN 2012, 2013.

  • “Kids in Bandipore are sharp and keen learners who if given the right opportunities and exposure can do wonders”

JAMMU: The Education is not merely for kids to clear exams and get degrees but also to open their minds and help them form opinions to make informed choices and that's where the difference between education and excellent education comes in. This was expressed by Jigyasa Labroo, a Teach for India fellow in Delhi, where she is committed to teaching children in an under resourced low income school for two years.

Presently Jigyasa Labroo is in Kashmir Valley’s Bandipore district working with Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dr. Shah Faesal's New Leaf Initiative (NLI) to improve educational standards in the schools in district of Bandipore by creating model schools and teacher training.

Talking to Editor-in-Chief of JK Monitor, Ajmer Alam Wani, Jigyasa expressed concern about state of education in Bandipore for which she mentioned that aser survey shows dismal results, one of the lowest in Kashmir.

Jigyasa observed is that the kids are sharp and keen learners who if given the right opportunities and exposure can do wonders. She further added that Teach for India along with the New Leaf Initiative (NLI) plans to impart the correct training to teachers so that the potential of these kids is realized.

Though born in Himachal Pradesh (HP), and brought up in Himachal and Chandigarh, Jigyasa is a Kashmiri by origin.

Jigyasa had come to Kashmir with an open mind regardless of what people had told her regarding the tension here and during her a month long stay here she was glad to do that because she found everyone in Kashmir friendly.

Having really great time in Kashmir she hoped that will leave Kashmir having contributed meaningfully by executing her project ‘Slam out Loud’ which she is executing these days in Kashmir.

In Kashmir, she has done two poetry workshops till now in Army Public School Srinagar and Government Higher Secondary School for Girls in the remote district of Bandipore for free.

Jigyasa told JK Monitor, that she started the initiative called Slam Out Loud, (SOL) which is a nonprofit initiative since December last year as project which aims to organize poetry as well as story telling events for children  to bring the art of Spoken Word to  classrooms and beyond.

She further added, “All we are trying at SOL is to build an arts community for our kids to collaborate, come and start projects together, meet, talk, learn and appreciate art. That is all we want to do-create a beautiful afternoon bimonthly, where our kids tell their stories through art, and we've begun by poetry and storytelling.  We are doing our events all over India, the last ones being in Delhi, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal”.

Jigyasa completed her education in Engineering from Delhi and have been living there since last five years. After Engineering, she decided to contribute to the society through a meaningful cause and hence joined the Teach For India fellowship.

  • Teaching being one of the noble professions has just become the job option for an easy going life

  • Teachers in J&K have an additional responsibility of bringing 
    the state out of crunches in order to build human resources to make it a prosperous state.
  • I have seen a general trend of people not calling others with appropriate names rather calling them Pahadi, Ajaska, Kaji, Haji, Nicka, Thaida, Mudd, etc. which a teacher should be 
    sensitive and conscious about.
  • Being respectful is the most important thing a student needs to learn during schooling.
  • Bringing politics into the classroom should be the most 
    dangerous thing to do it will lead to nothing but shear waste of child’s precious learning time.
  • Due to lesser student participation during the lessons they have stopped using their brains and have become less expressive
  • When I came to Kashmir for this project I could see a stark difference between the knowledge that I had and the reality here. The way certain teachers behaved, totally theoretical no trace of practicality, no accountability, zero responsibility, less sensitized regarding choice of words and lack of willingness to work.
JAMMU:   She was just 21 years old when for the first time visited Kashmir in 2009 as a tourist but eventually fell in love with the place and certainly felt like home. It was then that she could see the difference between the three provinces of Jammu and Kashmir state, and have a first-hand experience of the diversity.

During her visit, she just kept observing the places as these were the ones she had been hearing the stories about. Also, she could for the first time compare her life with that of her parents. Comparing the childhood setting was another incredible experience which she would have never thought of had she not visited Kashmir.

For her Kashmir was just incredibly beautiful place that she used to think about, mostly the Lidder Valley. The flowing water of Lidder still makes her feel refreshed.

Jeewika Bhat, who has recently joined Teach For India, Delhi chapter as a fellow, had decided to go for a project in rural area, though she had finalized Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir but when she came across the New Leaf Initiative (NLI) by the PMRDFs in Bandipore she saw it as an opportunity to serve her homeland and have a first-hand experience of how the things work.  Since, it was just a month long project; she was of the opinion that knowing the language would be helpful. 

Presently in Kashmir, Jeewika Bhat told Ajmer Alam Wani, Editor-in-Chief of JK MONITOR,  (www.jkmonitor.org) that she used to hear a lot of stories about how her mother, father and their siblings grew up in their respective villages and the way they used to go to school and how they used to climb on the trees for apples, their routines and how it was to have celebrate festivals and ceremonies, etc. Kashmir for sure was the land of her childhood stories and tales.

Open sky, vast fields of rice, magnanimous mountains, Pheran, Kangri, Dariya, Sheen, etc. were the elements she used to think of all the time when she used to listen to these stories. But it was only after she visited Kashmir she realized that how beautiful this place was!

Before her visit to Kashmir she had never seen someone who was a Kashmiri and not her relative. But when she went to her maternal grandfather’s place in Anantnag district, she could see the joyful and curious faces of the villagers who were part of her mother’s lifetill her marriage and they were overwhelmed with joy to see her and were awestruck at the fact that she knew the language so well.

She had a little idea of the issues that the Jammu and Kashmir state was suffering from but couldn’t understand and feel much of it. The words that she constantly heard and were associated with Jammu and Kashmir were militants, Indian Army, migration, Muslim, Pandit, etc. but being a constant visitor to Jammu she could not make connections. Also, she felt bad for the Dogras and other communities as they were equally from the state and were never talked of.

She spent her entire life so far in Delhi. Did her schooling from Sachdeva Public School, Rohini went to Ramjas College, DU for my Bachelors and GGSIPU, Dwarka for M.Sc. Environment Management. She stays with her parents and grandmother in Rohini, New Delhi. However, was working in Pune after her Masters in a start-up consultancy. Then she moved back to Delhi and joined Teach For India, Delhi Chapter as a fellow last year.

As a professional, Jeewika Bhat has worked as a Project Analyst with a Pune based start-up consultancy on several projects dealing on Sustainability Reporting, Carbon Accounting Management Systems and Off-Grid Solar. Thereafter, in 2014, she moved back to Delhi and joined Teach For India, Delhi chapter as a fellow. Currently she teach 40, 5th graders in Walia Public School, Kashmiri Gate.

As in Delhi they have a summer break in schools for the month of May and June, so the fellows go for various projects or internships.Jeewika Bhat too decided to go for a project in rural area. She had finalized Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir. Then she came across the New Leaf Initiative (NLI) by the PMRDFs in Bandipore and she could see it as an opportunity to serve my homeland and have a first-hand experience of how the things work. Since, it was just a month long project; her opinion was, for her knowing the language would be helpful. 

Analyses and experience about education in Kashmir: Jeewika said, the education scenario of the entire country is the same except a 1-2 states. The whole focus of this system should be on child’s learning and development while everything else being just a background picture. But sadly we do not a Child-Centric System. There is no incentive, consequence or accountability for learning. Teaching being one of the noble professions has just become the job option for an easy going life. As rightly said “Kunilagiy n Tebaniymashter”, in case of Kashmir it is the only profession the qualified ones could have.

The importance of being a teacher and feeling good about it is missing in general at all places however at administrations part there are a few changes that can be made so as to ensure accountability and focussed learning. In most of the Northern states there is a class teacher system till primary level (1-5) wherein one teacher is given the responsibility of one class and is responsible for all the admin and other requirements of that class for one academic year. In fact, we at Teach for India also follow more or less the same model, but for two years.

I think, this is one thing that can bring accountability for child’s learning. But above all being respectful and motivated is something teachers need to have within to bring that change. Though, the scenario everywhere is the same, however, the teachers in Jammu and Kashmir have an additional responsibility of bringingthe state out of crunches in order to build human resources to make it a prosperous state. As a matter of fact only ‘a teacher can make a difference’.

Basic things lacking: “I think the exposure to latest teaching practices is lacking along with the soft skills. I have seen a general trend of people not calling others with appropriate names rather calling them Pahadi, Ajaska, Kaji, Haji, Nicka, Thaida, Mudd, etc. which a teacher should be sensitive and conscious about. Being respectful is the most important thing a student needs to learn during schooling. But the brighter side is that I have come across some really dedicated and motivated teachers who are already using their B.Ed. practices in the classroom and a difference in the standard is visible. Also, putting efforts in right direction is really important i.e. towards all children getting excellent education. By saying excellent education I mean a holistic growth which enables a child to make informed decisions throughout his/her life.

The policies need to be child centric and revolve around how best a child can learn, but also keeping in mind the concerns of teachers as well. In context of teacher training and exposing them to different methods of teaching the District Administration of Bandipore along with PMRDFs started off with New Leaf Initiative (NLI) wherein people from different organizations like Teach for India, GyanSetu, Pratham, etc. have been visiting the various schools across the district and interacting with both students and teachers, doing science experiments, star gazing, teacher training, helping teacher to have differentiated learning in the classrooms and schools, introducing art and activity period in the time-table, etc.

This I feel is a great opportunity for both the teachers and students to get exposed to immense possibilities outside the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the opportunity to create off beat professions inside the state.

Areas that need focus: Jeewika stressed on soft skills and respectful learning, ensuring accountability, technical assistance so as to stop rote learning student participation and lesser teacher talking activity based approach. “A teacher can be a strong barrier between the turbulent and uncertain political situations prevailing in the state and the classroom full of innocent bright future. Bringing politics into the classroom should be the most dangerous thing to do it will lead to nothing but shear waste of child’s precious learning time.

The positive things in J&K Govt schools:  The students are very disciplined and loving. Though due to lesser student participation during the lessons they have stopped using their brains and have become less expressive but there is a huge potential lying out there and the teachers just need to tap it. Also, I have seen some teachers working really hard to make the kids understand the concepts in such cases they just need to know the smart way of doing it by addressing to the different learning styles of children like visual, kinaesthetic, auditory and read-write.

Difference between heard about and found: Well growing up as a Kashmiri was difficult as everyone around used to say Kashmiris are intelligent and highly qualified. Their regard in terms of education was too much to handle. I was told about various dedicated teachers and how people used to consider it a matter of pride to be able to teach. But when I came to Kashmir for this project I could see a stark difference between the knowledge that I had and the reality here. I could see a lot of things that I had never imagined to be true. The way certain teachers behaved, totally theoretical no trace of practicality, no accountability, zero responsibility, less sensitized regarding choice of words and lack of willingness to work.

VISION:  “I feel the quality of education has been suffering throughout the country. It is more saddening for Jammu and Kashmir in particular because this place has a history of having highly qualified men and women. But being one of the turbulent states excellent education is the only way out to uplift the society. Apart from having various teacher friendly but children centric policies sense of responsibility needs to be imparted in teachers and they should be aware of their superpower of getting this state out of a deep mess that it is into.

As per my observations there is a lot that is happening in terms of teacher training, visits by education observers, making learning fun, etc. but somewhere still we forget that children should be the centre of education system. Also, one of the major setback was that teachers need to be trained on soft skills and they need to be a little respectful to students.

There is a lot that government needs to do in terms of making the system more child centric and not just get politics into the classroom, but still there is a lot that a teacher can do in the class to make a difference as their superpower lies within.

 

“Muslim women can do anything and everything with Hijab.  Be a moderate and highly educated woman.  Be ready to work hard and competent. You can be a good homemaker and career woman all together. But it needs your courage.  I want to say to the women of Kashmir that don’t lose hopes. The flood of water might have washed away your goods and assets but it should not flow over your courage, hopes and goals. Stand up again and move on.  The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. A life demands struggle”.

JAMMU/ JEDDEH: Marriage can be an obstacle if your spouse and his family will not support you. So career oriented women should be particularly careful if they decide to marry with anyone. This was expressed by multitalented Jeddah-based Saudi citizen Sameera Aziz during an e-interview with Ajmer Alam Wani, (Editor-in-Chief, JK Monitor).

Famous Saudi media personality, Sameera Aziz is a highly educated Saudi woman, well known for her intellect, professional competence and integrity. She is a Journalist, film maker, director, script writer, radio presenter, novelist, speaker, social worker and activist.

During the interview she cautioned that sometimes, man and his family do the fake promises before marriage and then they create the hurdles after marriage. A document should be signed by husband before marriage to approve the conditions of bride, she suggested.  Moreover, after marriage, when you have children, it becomes challenging to maintain career and home together. A mother can decide the best”.

“ I don’t advise women to choose career in that time when the children are small. Children and home should be priority. Now everything is so easy by technology. So many jobs can be done and handled through technology and devices. You just need to be capable to use it wisely and perfectly. I managed and maintained my career, education, home and children. It was challenging and I killed my own rest and relaxation hours in life. However, I never compromised with the need of my children. I did it without any support and encouragement from any close relative, but I did it thanks to Allah”.

Here are the questions which were asked to Sameera and read what she replied to each one.

Q:        How you differentiate women life style in India, Pakistan, Jeddah and other European countries?

A:     The lifestyle of Saudi women, especially the women which belong to a developed city like Jeddah, is clearly different than Indian, Pakistani and European women. Since I have been travelling around the world and I am a journalist as well, I have been observing it very closely. Saudi women in Jeddah are very glamorous.   They are shopaholic, restaurant goers and love cosmetic surgeries. They are very cautious about their looks and since usually they are prosperous as well, they generously spend their wealth in their grooming.  They are very fond of education and career similar to the other women of the world, but what makes Saudi women different and appreciable is that, they are carving a niche in male dominated society and in limited resources. However, it should be mentioned that situation is going to be better and better for the women living in Saudi Arabia regarding the work, career, life and laws.     

Q:      Being Muslim, what difficulties you faced and privileges you enjoyed in your long professional journey?

A:    Being Muslim, I enjoyed the respect and honor in my professional life. However, the narrow minded, bad character and evil minded people tried to discourage me.  Bad character men do not like to be called ‘brother in Islam’ and they start making a Muslim woman victim with their feelings of rejection.  They made the false stories and rumors which never surprised me, nor bother me. Many evil people made the false excuse of Islam just to let me down. While, we all know that the first wife of Prophet Muhammad’s Khadija bint Khuwaylid ran a very wealthy and powerful business. In much of the world, like Malaysia, Indonesia, or the first world nations, Muslim women are very self reliant and are often just as wealthy and skilled as men.

Those negative minded and evil people who tried made my path difficult, were mostly belonged to South Asian countries rather than Arab world. But I did not stop and made my place as a winner. No doubt, there has been thousands and thousands of supporters and well wishers of mine, and many of them belong to the same South Asian countries.  

Moreover, those ultra narrow minded Muslim people also try to bother me, who do not realize the requirement of 21st century’s media. This is an age of visible media and entertainment. They don’t like me for using an entertainment medium for my goal to remove misconceptions about Saudi Arabia. They try to abuse me in different ways through social media, gossiping and rumors.

Since I am a social worker too, so if I help any victim, the opposite evil party starts making me their victim as well.  However, the fact that makes me feeling sorry is that, many women do not support me out of jealousy.  I have been mostly working for the support of women and I think women should support and encourage me than men. But I experienced that women tend to be jealous over everything. Overall, if you are a woman, you have to face the challenges and difficulties. It’s OK, I don’t care and nothing can stop me.

Q:       Does marriage help or becomes an obstacle in achieving goals and success in any field?

A:    Yes marriage can be an obstacle if your spouse and his family will not support you. So career oriented women should be particularly careful if they decide to marry with anyone. Sometimes, man and his family do the fake promises before marriage and then they create the hurdles after marriage. A document should be signed by husband before marriage to approve the conditions of bride. Moreover, after marriage, when you have children, it becomes challenging to maintain career and home together. A mother can decide the best. I don’t advise women to choose career in that time when the children are small. Children and home should be priority. Now everything is so easy by technology. So many jobs can be done and handled through technology and devices. You just need to be capable to use it wisely and perfectly. I managed and maintained my career, education, home and children. It was challenging and I killed my own rest and relaxation hours in life. However, I never compromised with the need of my children. I did it without any support and encouragement from any close relative, but I did it thanks to Allah.

Q:      Having been successful in a number of fields, what you suggest a better among these for aspiring women?

A.     Yes, this is right I have been doing lots of work but most of my works belong to Media field. Rest of the work is also somehow connected to my Media work. So I would suggest women to choose the Media path or Journalism field, then work hard and be creative. You will get the rest of the success ultimately because Media and Journalism will make you powerful, well connected and prestigious. This will eventually make you a successful woman.

Q:    In Bollywood, what things you observed are not good for females and also point out good ones?

A.      In Bollywood, I found people so professional, workaholic and realistic. It lacks sincerity. People are selfish and materialistic which is common in every field of present world. We cannot generalize Bollywood industry. Females have been working everywhere, not just in Bollywood. Every woman is mature and she has full right to work and live according to her own wishes. So I will not like to say anything to suggest Bollywood women to do this and to do that….!

Q:       What is the core difference between production houses in Islamic nation, India and Pakistan?

A:      Production houses of Islamic nations are careful about their strict censor policies. Islamic teachings and argument have been used to censor. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the world's second largest intergovernmental organization, has actively lobbied for a global ban on what it perceives as anti-Islamic blasphemy. Censorship in India involves the suppression of speech or other public communication, raises issues of freedom of speech, which is nominally protected by the Indian constitution. The Constitution of India guarantees freedom of expression but places certain restrictions on content, with a view towards maintaining communal and religious harmony, given the history of communal tension and it makes sense to me. Pakistan censor board is little stricter than India. The Pakistani Constitution limits censorship, but allows reasonable restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan or public order or morality. Production houses of all those parts of the world have been obeying the policy of their countries otherwise; obviously they will not be able to work in their country.

Q:     If you have to serve long years militancy hit Kashmir valley, what will be your priorities for women?

A:   I would like to see the highly educated and very wealthy Kashmiri woman, same like Saudi women.

Q:     Your message for Muslim women and the women in Kashmir recently hit badly by floods?

A:     Muslim women can do anything and everything with Hijab. Be a moderate and highly educated woman.  Be ready to work hard and competent. You can be a good homemaker and career woman all together. But it needs your courage.

I want to say to the women of Kashmir that don’t lose hopes. The flood of water might have washed away your goods and assets but it should not flow over your courage, hopes and goals. Stand up again and move on.  The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. A life demands struggle.

PROFILE OF SAMEERA AZIZ

Sameera Aziz is a famous Saudi media personality. A highly educated Saudi woman, she’s well known for her intellect, professional competence and integrity. She is a Journalist, film maker, director, script writer, radio presenter, novelist, speaker, social worker and activist. She is a Jeddah-based Saudi citizen. She is most notable as a radio presenter of her weekly show ‘Marhaba with Sameera Aziz’ in Asian Radio Live, which is based in the United Kingdom. She is the Country Head of ‘South Asian Regional Information Agency’ (SARIA), an international news agency with voice of SAARC countries.

Sameera Aziz is also an owner of the production house ‘Sana Solkar production’ in Bollywood which is the first Saudi production house in India. She has been involved in film making in Saudi Arabia on women issues as an assistant director and production team member. She studied film making from Hollywood directors. She is a director, producer and writer of a Bollywood movie REEM, the first Saudi-Indo venture in Bollywood. She is recognized as a first Saudi female Bollywood director and writer.

Sameera Aziz is also recognized as the first Saudi novelist of Urdu language in Saudi Arabia. She is active in humanitarian work. She has written thousands of articles and fictions in politics, social and woman issues. She is a speaker regarding international, social, expatriate, animal, and women’s issues. She aims to give positive message through her media activities and to bridge the gap between the Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world.

She also acts as a consultant to various international organizations for social development and human rights like National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), We – The Youth and Society for International Peace, which is a think tank initiated to serve the humanity. She is also the special adviser of ‘International Affairs and Women’s Rights’ in Journalist Foundation, a professional federation of global journalists. She is also a business woman. She is married with two children.

Sameera Aziz has won many awards like The woman of today, humanity award, pride of the nation, first Urdu novelist, youth ambassador, Best Ind-o-Pak Friendship Icon award etc. She is recently nominated for the Best Saudi Female Journalist & Media Person Award in “Women Leaders in Saudi Arabia & Awards 2015″ taking place soon first time in Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh.

Sameera Aziz is directing her movie ‘Reem’ under the banner of her own first Saudi production house in Bollywood ‘Sana Solkar Production’. Her film Reem is the first Saudi-Bollywood venture in India.

ABOUT FILM REEM

 

(The first Indo-Saudi venture in Bollywood)

Saudi Writer/director: Sameera Aziz 

Sana Solkar Productions

Story of film REEM:

This story is based on the issues and effects of cross-cultural marriage.  This is a story of a Saudi girl, Reem; whose mother is an Indian woman.  After getting the divorce from Reem’s Saudi father, she returned to Mumbai, India – leaving her 8-month-old daughter Reem with her Saudi father and Saudi step mother in Jeddah. Reem has been living a happy life with her agnate siblings. In fact, one of her younger brothers is her good friend and she shares every secret with him. He supports the right of Reem to make her own choices.

One day, after her graduation, it coincidently revealed to Reem that her real mother was an Indian woman. Reem gets surprised and mystified. Now she wants to know her genuine identity.  She becomes curious to know about her real mother. Postponing her marriage, Reem goes to India with the excuse of taking further education.  She then starts searching her actual mother there with the help of the information she has gathered in Jeddah. Her father did not know her real motive of her stay in Mumbai until the last.

Will she find her mother? How? What kind of struggle she will do in India to reach to her mother? She has a maternal half-sister as well in India and she is the 2nd heroine of the film. She will also find her ‘Mr. Right’ in India who is an ‘angry young man’. Both ignore each other. He realizes his deep feelings for Reem only after her departure to Saudi Arabia. She returns to Jeddah just to obey her father’s order.

Now in this situation, Reem’s marriage with her love will be possible?

You will see it in the film.

The twist and turns in the film makes it an interesting entertaining family drama with the exposure of modern days developed Saudi culture and tourism. The lively Indian youth and their adventures will add the spice in the film. There are fighting scenes, melodious songs and comedy scenes in the film to entertain the audience.

• Reem will have a decent stay in Mumbai.  The character of Reem will be presented as a ‘Mohajjaba” (head-covered) Saudi girl. However, she will not wear Abaya in India. She is very beautiful, humble, confident and educated girl.  She will be wearing the trousers and long shirts, same as our modest Saudi-Arabian girls usually do when they travel abroad. Her expensive Saudi-Arabian costume will be the unique thing for audience.

• The other heroine, an Indian step-sister of Reem, belongs to a modern generation of Mumbai.  She is a glamorous singer, and she is a member of a band group ‘HEARTBEATS’. There will be another hero in the film who is a ‘HEARTBEATS’ member as well. The hero of the film is a rock star and a leading singer of ‘HEARTBEATS’.

Genre:

This is a family drama and an entertaining film with the melodious and lyrical music – which is a soul of Bollywood films. Hindi Film Reem will be dubbed in Arabic and English languages and it will be released worldwide including Pakistan. The script and storyline are very powerful and communicative.

Promoting Saudi Tourism:

Some 30 minutes’ shooting of this film will be done in Jeddah as per as the storyline.  I will take a good advantage to present the beautiful and positive things, happening and amazing locations of my city of lights ‘Jeddah’. My Jeddah is full with landmark locations, historical places and best infrastructure.

My goal and reason to write and direct this film:

Film is an animation of person’s imagination. The ‘writer’ can powerfully convey his ideas to his viewers by directing his film. For developing the better understanding, we should interact with the world and reach to the people by communicating with them in their language.  Therefore, with the mission of peace and love, and to present myself as a bridge between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world, I aimed to enter in the Bollywood industry with a new, decent and powerful story.

My target is to present a modern and educated Saudi youth to show the world that – we, the new generation of Saudis, are not harsh and ignorant. We are not among those people who have spread the hatred by their terrorism acts. We are not abusers; we do love others; we do care others…. Our young Saudi generation is decent, confident, humble and highly educated. They have a sense to be socialized and to protect their values and identity at the same time. Each object in the camera frame and dialogue in the script will ultimately give some positive message to the viewers about Saudis. Lots of brains storming and communication technique is being used for this purpose. Being an experienced writer/novelist, I am confident for my job.

I have studied and learnt film making from the Hollywood directors and I have already assisted many directors of Saudi movies and plays such as Lamar and Hayath to name a few. I am into Journalism since 15-yrs and I know very well how to present the scenarios according to a Saudi policy. I have been presenting the news in an agreeable way. I know a Saudi way, and I have become enough confident about my professional expertise of ‘mind-building’ ability being a trained Saudi Journalist. My 15-yrs experience in practical journalism will be a back-bone in this film. I will strategically, usefully and wisely present the Saudi characters as a director and writer. I am a first Saudi novelist in Saudi Arabia in Urdu language.

Saudi woman at focus:

People want to know about the Saudi woman.  Their curiosity will be useful for this film. Saudi women are always being portrayed as a victim of social norms. Let the world know that our heroine ‘Reem’ – a Saudi woman of today – gets the liberty to find her identity. Let the world know about the real life style of today’s Saudi women.

New factors:

·         Bollywood has explored Dubai, Egypt as well as many other Arab countries. It is only Saudi Arabia, which is not being explored yet.

·         It’s first time that Saudi actors are acting in a Bollywood movie and they will deliver the dialogues in ‘Hindi’ without dubbing.

·         After 9/11 arena, Saudi-Arabian women get lots of attention of the world. Whatever the Saudi-Arabian women do; it becomes the talk of the town.

·         Being a Saudi lady journalist, radio presenter and film maker, I too have been getting lots of attention. I am sure that people will like to see that what I am going to present them in an entertaining film.

Sana Solkar Production:

Sana Solkar Production is the first ‘Saudi Production House’ in Bollywood owned by Sameera Aziz in Mumbai with the partnership of Mr. Aslam Solkar (an Indian producer). The creative team of this production house is very experienced, qualified, hardworking and professional from Bollywood film industry.

Cast from Saudi Arabia: Hamza Eskander (Saudi model and host of Coke studio), Muhammad Bakhsh (Saudi veteran and famous actor), Salem Bawazeer (Saudi actor) 

Cast from Bollywood: under process

Expected heroine for the main role: Wiam Dahmani (Moroccan actress from UAE)

Music director: Toshi-Sharib, Aslam Keyi

Singers: KK (and others)

Background music: Sanjoy Chowdhary