Gheorghe Seran: For us, everything was new but it was a calculated risk. We wanted to prove that if we could do it then anyone could do it.
Ashar: What were the most fascinating and challenging experiences while shooting the movie in the three countries (Pakistan, India and UAE)?
Manav Bhalla: The biggest challenge was that we had never done this before and this was our first time. I think everyone involved in the film was so connected that the journey became easier. That doesn’t mean the road on which we were walking was easy.
I wanna take this opportunity at the friendship day to talk about that, if it weren’t for these friends of mine and hundred others who are in India today - probably watching and reading this - the film wouldn’t be complete. It was a very cohesive and collaborative effort by everyone. Filmmaking is all about teamwork!
I was telling Seran, I was working in a corporate life for about 20 years now and there is not a single experience I have had which has been more teamwork oriented than film-making. There are so many small gears that need to work together for us to be successful.
Ashar: Where did you learn the art of film-making?
Manav: From Lashtam Pashtam! I haven’t been to a (formal) film-school and I haven’t assisted anyone (in film-making). It was us who made it possible. It was like an onion, we kept on peeling it and we kept crying.
Ashar: How would you like to differentiate yourself from the mainstream Bollywood directors?
Manav: I don’t think it is my time and place to differentiate myself. I think what I want to do is complement them. I don’t want to be outside the pack but I don’t want to be a part of the herd as well. What I want to do is complement what every Bollywood director is doing, they are telling stories in a way that is also entertaining. What I have done here is to tell a story that has a message in an entertaining sort of way. We are not preaching something to people. We know people are smart to make their own decision but we want to give them a perspective that allows them to make that decision for themselves.
Ashar: How did you prepare for the role of a Pakistani character?
Vibhav Roy: Well a lot of preparation went into the role. Manav Sir gave me a perfect infrastructure. He got me a language tutor - a dialect coach - to get the language, pronunciation and enunciation right. On top of that we trained for tennis as well. Having said that it is not a sports film. It is just an underlying thread which brings two characters together. So as long as I get the mannerisms and the language right and I can fake the sport well. That’s all he was asking for. I gave my level best.
Ashar: On a lighter note, who plays better tennis, Vibhav or Samar?
Vibhav: We were a doubles team so we complemented each other. We never competed. That’s what the film is all about. India and Pakistan are not competing with each other (rather,) they are complementing each other.
Samar Virmani: No one small. No one is big. We all are same. We all are equal in brotherhood and friendship.