By: Shikha Patial
Shimla would once again turn into London, this time for an eight episode tele-series ‘London Ki Ek Raat’, commissioned by Doordarshan and being directed by veteran actor Parikshit Sahni. The series is being jointly produced by Balraj Sahni Productions’ and producer Sunil Jain. The erstwhile winter capital of India this time will play the capital of England – London. Based on a novel called London Ki Ek Raat by Urdu writer Sajjad Zahir, the tele-series will portray the story about Indian students studying in England during the pre-independence era in 1936. The entire series is about events that take place in one single night, which are being shot in Shimla.
Talking to HimVani about how Shimla was chosen, Parikshit Sahni said, “After visiting so many places like Daman & Dew, Pune and Goa among many others, we finally landed in Shimla and realised that the architecture here was still very similar to that in London.” He said a portion of the film has already been shot in Naldehra, which actually substituted Switzerland. “Sajjad Zahir was the Guru and a great friend of my father Balraj Sahni and he was the founder of the Progressive Writers’ Movement in India, which involved all great writers of fifties and sixties like Bhisam Sahni, Kaifi Azmi and Faiz Ahmed,” he said.
Shimla also happens to be Parikshit Sahni’s home town, so while sharing about his days here, he said, “I am not a newcomer to Simla. I studied at Sanawar so I belong to Himachal in a way. All my childhood was spent here and we used to come to play at St. Bede’s, Bishop Cotton School…in inter-school sports events. Simla was almost my second home. But it has changed a lot now. There were not many buildings that time, but it’s still very beautiful.”
Talking about the Balraj Sahni Manch’, a drama unit still active in Shimla, he said they would like to do lot more, for which they would like to make use of the Gaiety Theatre more often. He also said that along with his core team he is very keen on being of some service to Himachal. Are the Himachal lovers listening?