Kashmiri boy Mehrajuddin Rathar from BIG Pictures’ ‘Sikandar’ visits Mumbai

Film starring Madhavan, Sanjay Suri Parzaan Dastur, Ayesha Kapur will release on Aug 21st

Film starring Madhavan, Sanjay Suri Parzaan Dastur, Ayesha Kapur will release on Aug 21stMumbai July 28, 2009: Mehrajuddin Rath, a 14 year old boy from Kashmir studying in the Government Higher Secondary School Pehelgam, thought it was just another day when he was singing for his morning school assembly in May 2008. Little did he know, that director Piyush Jha, who was doing location recce for his film ‘Sikandar’ in villages close to Srinagar, would hear his voice and give him an opportunity that most others like him only desire for. Mehraj is in Mumbai to promote the film this week.
Written and directed by Piyush Jha, shot in location in Kashmir set to release in August 21st, BIG Pictures ‘Sikandar’ is about this 15 year old boy Sikandar who lives with his uncle and aunt in a small Kashmiri town. Now his life revolves round his foster parents, football, Nasreen, the new girl in town and dealing with some bullies. But life takes an unexpected (or was it expected?) turn when he picks up a gun from the ground. And thus, he gets drawn into the web of militants, power and violence.

“I heard Mehrajuddin’s voice for the first time when he was singing a naat (hymn) called ‘Arzoo’ for his school assembly and I recorded it on my handy cam. When I went back to my room and watched the tape, this boy’s voice remained with me for a long- long time and that’s when I decided to incorporate it in ‘Sikandar’,” says director Piyush Jha.

Piyush immediately decided to make room for this naat and Mehrajuddin in his film. A special sequence is written featuring the boy singing the song in the backdrop fitting perfectly in the film. The song ‘Arzoo’ has been recorded live on location by Mehrajuddin at the same as it was being picturized on him.

“I was very happy to know that I got a chance to sing for a Hindi film. I never thought I would get an opportunity to be a part of films, which otherwise I only watch on my TV set. I want to thank Piyush Jha for this wonderful opportunity and now I want to pursue my hobby of singing and take it forward in the best possible way.,” says Mehrajuddin.

Mehrajuddin’s father Ghulam Hasan Rath adds, “Mehrajuddin singing talent is God’s gift. This boy has never taken any formal training. I am really proud of his talent and I will encourage him to pursue it.”

Mehrajuddin belongs from a very traditional Kashmiri family, where he helps his father run his pony riding business and studying in the local school; completely disconnected from the film world. The boy never had singing aspirations until Piyush Jha perused him and his family to let him sing the song.

Sikandar casts Parzaan Dastur, the adorable little Sardar from film ‘Kuchh Kuchh Hota Hai’, now in his teens, Ayesha Kapur of ‘Black’ fame as she makes her come-back as a lead actress and introduces Arunoday Singh in a key role. Also, lending their strength and verve are R. Madhavan and Sanjay Suri. The happening trio of Shankar Ehsaan- Loy, Sandesh Shandilya and Justin-Uday with lyrics by Prasoon Joshi, Neelesh Misra and Kumaar.

To know more about the film log on to www.sikandar.bigflix.com /

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