A file picture of Imran Zahid with Mahesh Bhatt
Bokaro-born actor Imran Zahid has yet again been chosen by noted film-maker Mahesh Bhatt to play the protagonist in his next theatrical venture, Milne Do. This will be the fourth Bhatt play in the past two years where Zahid plays the lead role.
Milne Do revolves around a passionate love story between a Pakistani woman and an Indian man. The play, which will star theatre artistes from both sides of the border, aims to promote love and peace, the core message of Aman ki Asha campaign.
While Zahid will play the male lead, an actress from Pakistan, who is yet to be finalised, will be cast as the female protagonist.
“The play is still at a nascent stage. Rehearsals will be conducted in both India and Pakistan. Initially, we will stage the play in Calcutta, Delhi, Mumbai, Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore. Later, we will take centre stage in other cities,” Zahid said.
The DAV-Bokaro alumnus added that two bands — one each from India and Pakistan — would perform live when the play tours the earmarked cities. While Pakistani band Laal has been confirmed, it’s Indian counterpart is yet to be finalised.
“A movie or a play can spread the message of peace. Any idea, if communicated through storytelling, makes an impact. We are trying to do the same,” Mahesh Bhatt said.
Zahid has been famous for his acting skills since he was in school. “I won several awards during my school days in Bokaro. Then, I went on to complete my B.Com from University of Delhi. While in college, I joined Arvind Gaur’s group and acted in many plays. I met Maheshji at a media workshop at India Club in Dubai in 2007. He prodded me to take up acting as a career,” he recalled.
Although Zahid is currently based in Delhi, his parents still live in Bokaro. His father is a retired Bokaro Steel employee. “I visit my parents whenever I can. I spent my childhood there. I love the place,” Zahid said over phone.
He has earlier played lead roles in Bhatt’s The Last Salute (2011), Trial of Errors (2012) and Arth (2013).
While The Last Salute was based on the December 14, 2008, incident when an Iraqi scribe Muntadar al-Zaidi flung a shoe at then US president George W. Bush, Trial of Errors provided an insight into the lives of minorities in the country.
Arth is a stage adaptation of Mahesh Bhatt’s 1982 film of the same name.