The Dev D famed actress, Kalki Koechlin continued to be an inspiration at the India Today Conclave 2017 as she addressed the most controversial India-Pakistan relationship and shared how she viewed the two countries friction from face value in a session named India/Pakistan filming the other.
Kalki drew parallels between the two countries and stated similarities that she witnessed herself during her last year's visit to Pakistan. Kalki visited Pakistan as part of a project she was working on in Pakistan- she teamed up Sabiha Sumar for her documentary Azmaish "Trials of life" which changed her point of view.
“I did not have any strong standpoints on the whole India-Pakistan issue and I guess my neutrality to the subject was the reason why I opted for this project,” said Kalki at the India Today Conclave 2017.
She added that she signed the project out of curiosity as she had never been to Pakistan and only knew the two countries in regards to their conflicts.
“I wanted to see a new aspect, a more human aspect,” said Kalki.
During her visit to Pakistan in January last year she observed stark similarities between the two countries and realised that the two unifying points for the nations were cricket and Bollywood.
“People recognised me from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and I realised that Bollywood is huge in Pakistan,” she said.
For the documentary, she visited across Pakistan including several cities and villages and found a deep connection of cultures between the neighbouring countries. She realised that back home how they viewed women in a conservative manner was similar to how they were viewed in rural Pakistan.
“Once you remove ideologies, you start to see people and their struggles. Pakistanis are as afraid of terrorism as anyone else in the world,” she shared.
She was overwhelmed by how welcoming the people of Pakistan were to her. She shared an account from her documentary Azmaish,
"In one part of the documentary we had a fashion show and hundreds of men had to come and watch it. We inquired from them how they feel seeing their spouse as models and they expressed joy. However, when asked if they see their spouses making a career out of it they were reluctant and immediately stated that their leaders will kill them if this ever happens. It was said in a tone which was indicative that nothing is going to change here.”
For the documentary film, Sumar and Kalki continue to travel across the two countries, exploring the lifestyles, religious beliefs and extremism which is stemming from violence.