Kashmiri pandits applaud Suri’s I Am

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By Hindustan Times

Onir’s I Am may have got rave reviews from critics, but the film is a little more special for actor Sanjay Suri. After the release of the four-episode feature, emotional Kashmiri pandits have been getting in touch with the actor over the portrayal of a Kashmiri woman, Megha, played by Juhi Chawla. Sanjay has co-produced the movie along with Onir.

“Several Kashmiri pandits have got in touch with me through phone, Twitter and Facebook. They told me they can really feel what Megha goes through. And I knew that ‘I Am Megha’ will get a special response, since it mirrors a real-life issue. The nation might have forgotten them, but Kashmiri pandits still feel the pinch,” says Sanjay.

I Am Megha is about a Kashmiri-Hindu girl, who returns to Srinagar for the first time since her family was forced to flee. For the uninitiated, Sanjay was born in Srinagar and spent 19 years in the Valley, before shifting base to New Delhi with his family in 1990, after his father was killed by militants.

“Juhi’s character in the film is my favourite because I can really feel and understand what Megha is going through. I know how it feels when a Kashmiri pandit, who goes to the Valley, is asked if he or she is a tourist. Or the emotion that a Kashmiri pandit goes through, upon visiting his home in Kashmir and finding someone else open the door,” says Sanjay.

The actor confesses that he was confident about Onir handling sensitive subjects. “I have worked with Onir as a producer on films like My Brother Nikhil (2005), Sorry Bhai! (2008) and now, I Am. We’ve always trusted each other’s sensibilities and emotions,” adds Sanjay, who plans to concentrate on his acting career after his stint as a co-producer.