The Kashmiris and Ladakhis in Jammu city have outnumbered locals to watch Shah Rukh Khan's (SRK) love saga Jab Tak Hai Jaan in the local theatres and are liking the portions of the film shot in the valley.
The film, which is Yash Chopra's last directorial venture, was released on Diwali Tuesday. Shah Rukh is seen romancing Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma in the film, which was shot in Ladakh and Kashmir besides London.
"Since it was shot in Kashmir, we were keen to watch the movie," said Zubina Malik, a homemaker from Srinagar.
Zubina, wife of a government officer, came to watch the movie along with her two sisters and three kids. Her sister Tahira, also a homemaker in Srinagar, commented, "I did not like the story of the movie, but Shah Rukh and Anushka's acting was great. Besides, my main aim was to see Kashmir scenes, which have come out really good in the movie."
Though there are just a couple of scenes from Ladakh region, "but that was enough to prompt me to watch the first day first show," said Stanzin Chotak, a student of Buddhist studies in the Jammu University.
There were not many movie watchers from Jammu, "as it was Diwali day and people were busy celebrating it," noted Ashok Gupta, a businessman in Jammu.
Several thousand Kashmiris move down to Jammu as the state capital shifts here during winter. While in Jammu, the Kashmiris do not miss the chance to watch movies in theatres because cinema halls in the valley have stopped running films after the militancy struck there in 1990.
Three theatres did open in 1997-98 in Srinagar, following hectic efforts by then Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, but they were closed after a blast in one of them.
In 1996, the state government provided soft loan of Rs.60 lakh each to the cinema owners who had agreed to resume their business. But still the move did not have many takers.
"There was fear of mililtants' attack which kept us away," told a Srinagar cinema owner on condition of anonymity.
Last year, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said: "Cinema halls have always been a private sector enterprise. If anyone wants to set up a cinema hall in the state, the government will be happy. However my government is neither in the business of setting up cinema halls nor will give any subsidy on any such venture."