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Pakistani actress Veena Malik to shoot for Punjabi film
By Jaideep Sarin, IANS
It doesn't really matter whether she is named Veena Malik or Zaheeda Malik - what matters is that the Pakistani actress is enjoying every moment of her association with the first India-Pakistan Punjabi film being produced here.
Her screen name back home is Zaheeda but she felt Veena would have greater appeal for "Pind di Kudi" or Village girl.
The film will have stars from both sides of the border. In the male lead is Sarabjit Cheema, a singer from Indian Punjab. It also stars Pakistani actress Sheeba.
"I was reading a novel in which the name of the musical instrument was the Veena. It sounded very good to me and I adopted it as my screen name," Malik told reporters here Tuesday during a photo-op with Cheema.
"I had no idea that it was an Indian name and that one-day I will be working in India," the Lahore-based actress smiled.
Having attained star status in Pakistan after doing TV serials, films and commercials, Malik is happy to be part of a cross-border production.
"This is my first trip to India and I have found people to be so loving. I am feeling so much at home. I am feeling simply great about this project and the fact that I was offered this role," she said.
A fan of Bollywood leading ladies Kajol and Sushmita Sen and actors Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, Malik is fairly clued into the Hindi film industry.
"If I get roles from Bollywood, I'll accept them if the story is good," she said.
Her Pakistani films include "Dil Hai Aapka", "Jab Dil Dadhakta Hai" and "Koi Tujhsa Kahan".
"Pind di Kudi" is the brainchild of Punjabi producer Iqbal Dhillon who has 17 productions to his credit.
Director Sukhwant Dadda described the film as a comedy with a tragic end.
"The cultures and people of both the countries are similar, so working with actors from both sides will be good," he added.
Dhillon said the film would be fully shot in India.
"It will be shot in and around Chandigarh, Patiala and other parts of Punjab."