The on-screen faces of Pakistan, made familiar in Kashmir by the Zee’s Zindagi, are making a buzz at Srinagar’s book fair also.
A stall at a book fair, organized by National Book Trust (NBT), is attracting youth. The stall sells the DVD’s of famous Pakistani TV serials.
“As a local newspaper reported about my stall, large number of people have started to come,” says Aizaz Hassan of Delhi who runs the stall Aks-o-Awaz (Picture & Sound). “Mostly youth, boys and girls, are dropping at my stall”.
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After the success of Zindagi channel on which Pakistani content is broadcasted, Delhi-based book stalls are stealing hearts at the bookfair – at Srinagar’s Kashmir Haat. Amidst the mostly blank bookstalls of Urdu, English and Islamic literature, Aks-o-Awaz looks different. A lot of youth surround it looking for their favourite serials.
Two months ago, when Pakistani faces started appearing on the Indian small screen, girls and boys switched to all other ways of gathering more content from Pakistan. Now, some Delhi-based book stalls including Aks-o-awaz and Al-Hasanat, are becoming the centre of attraction.
Hassan (52) is busy speaking to boys about ‘Meri zaat zara-e-benishaan’. Being the most famous TV serial of Pakistan, Aizaz has already sold many copies of the DVD, and ‘Khuda aur Mohabbat’ on the second number.
Hassan says he is in this business from last 15 years. He has been selling the DVD’s of such serials, Islamic audio and video and all types of Islamic content at his Delhi shop in Darya Gunj.
“I am myself attracted to the Pakistani content,” he says. “I prefer to sell this because it shows morally good content, which we can watch with everyone in the family”.
The discount on these DVDs is an added attraction – with each DVD capturing all the episodes of a serial being sold for just Rs 200.
The Pakistani serials have made a buzz in Kashmir since they were first telecasted from Zee’s Zindagi channel.
And in the valley’s social gatherings and on social networking sites, both men and women talk about these serials.
“I never thought Pakistan could produce such brilliant serials,” says Naseer Ahmad, a Srinagar resident. “Suddenly and unwittingly, I am hooked to them”.
The drive to watch Pakistani serials and content dates back to early 90’s when people used to tune to Radio Pakistan or struggle for hours with the TV antenna to get PTV on their screens.