Kathmandu, Feb 20 (IANS) While Bollywood's kung fu comedy "Chandni Chowk to China" was given the thumbs-down in Nepal, it has now embraced the voices of India's Hindi film industry as the voices of "Kathmandu".
Maverick Nepali actor-film director Akash Adhikari, who won the best actor award last year for his role in "Janayuddha", a film that dealt with the Maoists' 10-year "people's war", has roped in Bollywood singers Sukhwinder Singh, Kailash Kher, Sunidhi Chauhan, Sanjeevani and Aakriti Kakkar to sing in his new film.
"Kathmandu: Anything can happen in this city" will also give to the Nepali industry Aditya Narayan Jha, son of Hindi film singer Udit Narayan Jha, who was awarded the Padma Shri this year for his contribution to Indian cinema.
"I have planned 'Kathmandu' for the international market," says Adhikari. "It will be released in Nepal, Europe and the US with the premiere in San Francisco in May. I need quality for that and I need to break away from the routine pattern. I wrote the lyrics of 'Kathmandu' with certain voices in mind."
Adhikari found a close match in Sukhwinder Singh, the Indian singer who made a niche for himself in competitive Bollywood with the unforgettable "Chhaiyya Chhaiyya" in the 1998 Mani Ratnam film "Dil Se" and went on to consolidate his place with other smash hits like "Chak De India", "Dard-e-disco" and the latest "Jai ho" in the Hollywood top grosser "Slumdog Millionaire".
"I have been Singh's fan from 'Chhaiyya Chhaiyya'," says Adhikari. "Also, I found him to be a wonderful human being. In 'Kathmandu' Singh will also play a cameo as himself, giving a performance that warns the younger generation about the perils of experimenting with drugs."
Singh also sings the title track "Kathmandu" along with a duet with Aakriti.
The title track has more versions that have been sung by Kailash Kher, now famed in Nepal as one of the judges of the widely watched "India Idol" reality show, and Sanjeevani.
Aditya Narayan sings a duet with Sunidhi, "Crazy Girl".
Though the songs are in Nepali, Adhikari says the singers had no problem and the recording - done at the studios of Singh and Kher in India - went off smoothly.
The shooting starts March 10.
The film, which will have English sub-titles, is named "Kathmandu" but is about every city or even village, says Adhikari.
The focus is on the growing generation gap, drug abuse linked to the spread of HIV/AIDS and increasing promiscuity and violence that have become the features of all metros and towns.