Bollywood actor Salman Khan's visit to Jammu and Kashmir for the shooting of his film 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' has rejoiced the general people in the valley. Almost the entire town gathered at the shooting location to catch a glimpse of the superstar.
A tour operator, Inayat Ahmad, said the actor's visit has cheered up the locals, who otherwise remain deprived from varied avenues of entertainment, unlike the metro city residents.
"Kashmir and Bollywood has always maintained a great bonding. In the past 20-25 years the relationship became feeble, but with new business coming, it is getting rekindled. The valley is happy for this as you can see people from across Kashmir have gathered here to watch shooting. They are thrilled to have the Bollywood stars between them. It has contributed positively to the valley's economic growth as the local resources are being hired and paid," said Inayat Ahmad.
Many Kashmiris were happy to see cameras roll once again in the troubled region.
"Tourists and local shopkeepers, small businessmen are gaining financially as actor Salman Khan has come here. The boat riders are also earning good. Everyone in Kashmir is happy due to this," said Narinder Singh, tourist cab driver.
"Khan's shooting in Kashmir will send a positive message across the globe about the valley and would help boost its tourism," he added.
Khan is shooting for 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan', directed by Kabir Khan, at a famous tourist resort in Pahalgam district. He arrived in capital Srinagar a few days back.
Kashmir's bond with Bollywood dates back to the 60s when the musical "Kashmir Ki Kali" inspired a thousand honeymoons with its shots of Shammi Kapoor trying to impress a girl with his trademark jerky dancing as they drift across a lake in separate gondolas, a chorus line floating in the background.