The idea was to unite two uneasy neighbours through melody and
music and what better platform than the reality show "Sur Kshetra"
that brings together singing talents from India and Pakistan, says
Pakistani composer-actor-singer Atif Aslam.
Going live Saturday, the Indian show has a heavy dose of Pakistani
flavour. If Atif will be seen mentoring singers from Pakistan,
Himesh Reshammiya will be seen with the Indian team. The judges
are three South Asian singing legends - India's Asha Bhosle,
Pakistan's Abida Parveen and Bangladesh's Runa Laila.
To be aired on Colors and Sahara One simultaneously, it has been
shot in Dubai.
"The effort is to unite India and Pakistan. There are many people
from Pakistan who sing well and, as Himesh Reshmmiya has said, he
might take them in his film too. I also might take some Indian
singers as well," Atif, who has made a name for himself in India,
said during a group interaction here.
The message of peace and harmony is timely as always.
"Sur Kshetra" was also in the line of fire when Maharashtra
Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray demanded that Pakistani
artists be banned from participating in the show.
Many eyebrows were also raised when the promos went on air and
some friction was seen between Atif and Himesh.
Atif clarifies the misconception.
"The promo has been made in such a way that it seemed we are
fighting. Himesh is brilliant as a composer. He has been the hit
machine in terms of a music director. He is a brilliant artist. He
is my colleague and I enjoyed working with him."
What worked for Aslam?
"When I got to know about the jury, I was interested. I was also
interested for Pakistanis to come on stage and sing. I am not
thinking about who is going to win or not. I just want to do
something good," he said.
To ensure his team fares well, the singer, known for his hit
albums "Doori" and "Jal Pari", has put in a lot of effort and said
he has "trained them a lot".
"Everyone has put in a lot of effort. I remember I used to always
make them rehearse before their sessions. So I tried my level best
that they sing very well," added the singer, who made a name for
himself in India with hit numbers like "Pehli nazar", "Tu jaane
naa" and "Piya o re piya".
Seen in a prominent role in director Shoaib Mansoor's hit film "Bol",
Atif said he would take up another acting project only if he
agrees with the script.
As far as singing goes, he has a treat ready for his fans, thanks
to the songs in upcoming Bollywood films.
"There were a lot of offers, but I wasn't interested in them.
There are two songs from 'Jayanta Bhai Ki Luv Story', I will be
singing two songs in 'Race 2'. My personal album will also come
out, Insha Allah," he said.