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In 2020, Vidhu Vinod Chopra will produce and direct the Hindi-language movie Shikara. The love affair of a Kashmiri Pandit couple at the 1990s' height of the insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir and the following displacement of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Region serve as the basis for the movie. The film stars Aadil Khan, Sadiya Khateeb, Zain Khan Durrani and Bhavana Chauhan in lead roles.
In the first scene of the film, an elderly Shiv writes a letter to the American president outlining the predicament of Kashmiri Pandits who are forced to live as refugees in their own nation. It transpires that he has written a number of letters since 1990. POTUS responded to his most recent letter by inviting him to a presidential suite in Delhi. He travels to Delhi with Shanti. They watch the movie DVD "Love in Kashmir" in their opulent chamber, remembering their first encounter, their marriage in Kashmir, and their forced escape to Jammu.
Shiv Kumar Dhar, a young college lecturer and PhD student, meets Shanti Sapru, a medical student, on the set of "Love in Kashmir," in a flashback scene that follows. They quickly became friends after meeting for the first time due to their shared love of poetry and Shiv's role as the author of the just-released "Shikara." As soon as they start to fall in love, Shiv asks Shanti to marry him with the assistance of his best friend Lateef Lone, a budding cricket player and the child of a local politician who acts as Shiv's male role model. Lateef develops feelings for Arti, Shanti's best friend and fellow medical student. Shiv and Shanti wed in a customary Kashmiri Pandit Ceremonial Wedding.
With the assistance of Lateef's father, they quickly construct a sizable mansion and give it the name "Shikara." Muslims and Hindus alike coexist together in the community. When their first wedding anniversary comes around, Shiv's medical cousin Naveen gives him a typewriter so he may write his dissertation on it. Their joy, however, was short-lived because Lateef's father, a politician, was critically hurt while attending a rally and was admitted to Naveen's clinic. He was allegedly attacked by the police at the order of the existing central government. But while he is being sent to a multi-speciality hospital for his procedure, he passes away. After losing his father, Lateef leaves the country and goes to Lahore to enrol in a terrorist training programme. This incident causes a dramatic shift in the peace around the Kashmir Valley.
Shiv finds that several of the pupils in his class are absent. On a bus, a bunch of people force Shanti to veil her head and take off her bindi. She discovers that there are direct buses running from Laal Chowk to Islamabad and Lahore there. She even sees a shooting that results in the deaths of six policemen who were trying to prevent young men from taking these buses in order to join the military. A handful of Shiv's missing pupils abduct him and take him to see Lateef, who is now in charge of a terrorist organization attacking Kashmiri Pandits. He cautions Shiv to flee the valley before it's too late, and he only does so because the two of them once had a friendship.
Shiv continues to think that all of these changes are only temporary and that the Kashmiri Pandits remain secure. But he had miscalculated the circumstance. All Hindu Kashmiri Pandits are advised to leave the Kashmir valley within a month after the issuance of a kill list. Houses owned by Kashmiri Pandits were put on fire. Shiv is stunned as Naveen is murdered in the commotion right before his eyes. Together with the rest of their family, Shiv and Shanti are able to flee to Jammu. The former owners of a massive mansion, the couple, are now forced to live in tents. They witness wealthy and well-off Kashmiri Pandits battling to obtain something as basic as tomatoes. Shiv then begins using the typewriter Naveen gave him to send letters to the President of the United States to inform him about the situation at the Valley.
Two years later, after finishing his doctoral work, Shiv decides to accept a new position at Punjab University. But Shanti urges him to work with the neighbourhood refugees. Soon after, he receives a call asking him to sell his home, "Shikara," for a high price to the local Kashmiri Muslims. He refuses to remember Lateef's father's and Naveen's deaths, and by chance, he discovers Naveen's jacket being worn by the broker. Naveen had promised to give it to him as a gift once he had finished his PhD.
The Dhar family becomes accustomed to living in refugee housing over time, with Shiv continuing to tutor local refugees and write letters to the president, while Shanti begins to exhibit symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of that terrible night before their forced flight. One evening, the Indian Army asks Shiv and Shanti to travel to Kashmir Valley to meet with terrorist Lateef, who has since been apprehended. Lateef and Shiv converse, but soon after, Lateef passes away. Shiv and Shanti also go to their former residence, which is currently occupied by a former friend. Shiv and Shanti are dismayed to find how their neighbour, whom they loved like family, had destroyed all they had co-built.
They receive a modest happy event back in the refugee towers. The daughter of one of their neighbours is getting married. Shanti is ecstatic in anticipation of witnessing a Kashmiri Pandit marriage. But the ceremony is not at all what she had anticipated. There is a DJ, as well as strong lighting and music. She soon falls due to the devastation of losing not just her home but also her culture. It turns out that she has a neurological condition and needs to be operated on by a local doctor who was once Shiv's student when they lived in refugee quarters. The couple moved into the presidential room after receiving a call from the POTUS just before Shanti's operation. Shiv then admits to Shanti that he was the one who made the hotel reservations and that the postman mistook the word "presidential suite" for an invitation from the president.
They were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary, and he wanted to grant her long-held wish to see the Taj Mahal. Shanti questions him about how he was able to afford the Rupees 1.25 lakh suite. Shiv explains to her that he utilised some of the proceeds from the sale of their home to fund her surgery and to realise her goal. Despite feeling defeated, Shanti stays silent. Shiv later brings her to the Taj Mahal via boat. On the boat, Shanti dies in his arms. Shiv decides to stay in his parents' old house and transports Shanti's ashes to Kashmir as he had promised her. In the hopes that kids don't become terrorists like his friend did, he begins tutoring young boys there.
The movie received positive reviews from the critics, praising the picturesque locations and the acting performance of the lead actors. The movie was, however, criticised for twisting facts and not portraying the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits as it was. It failed at the box office, earning a gross total of around INR 9 crores during the entirety of its run.
|Director||Vidhu Vinod Chopra|
|Music By||A R Rahman, Qutub-E-Kripa|
|Production Company||Vinod Chopra Films|
|Start Date||07 Feb 2020|
|Country of Origin||India|
|Genre||Romance, Drama, History|
|Producer||VIdhu Cinod Chopra|
|Shikara Character names||Shikara Actors real names|
|Shanti Sapru Dhar||Sadiya Khateeb|
|Shiv Kumar Dhar||Aadil Khan|
|Lateef Lone||Zain Khan Durrani|
|Khursheed Hassan Lone||Zamir Ashai|