It’s been quite a while since Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local – starring Abhay Deol and Neha Dhupia – released but it’s a film that made Pakistani band Call a cross-border hit and Neha Dhupia stills remembers the experience of shooting the video of ‘Laaree Chootee’ with fondness. "It was great shooting with the guys," she spoke to Instep at India Couture Week in Mumbai recently, "and since then I’ve been saying that the best music is made in Pakistan and the best looking men are also from Pakistan."
That is quite a compliment to Call, a band of boys who have not been able to match the popularity achieved with ‘Laaree Chootee’ ever since. But Pakistani music really has become a household sensation in India, though because of the consistent tension between both countries, that appreciation mostly remains underground. The kind of attention that Jermaine Jackson – who was in Mumbai shooting with Adnan Sami Khan during couture week – got in the local Indian media is what Pakistani musicians should be getting too. But while relations between India and Pakistan put restrains and limitations on cross cultural exchanges, it is refreshing for an Indian actress to come out and appreciate a Pakistani band so sincerely. And until things do get better, fans of Pakistani music in India will continue asking their friends to bring them CDs of Abida Parveen, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Iqbal Bano, Nusrat Fateh Ali and even Atif Aslam, who has performed on the soundtrack of Ranbir Kapoor’s Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani.
They say art has no boundaries but in the real world we live in, it unfortunately does.