Amidst reports of a possible ban and having only been cleared by censors in Pakistan, the eve ahead of its international Diwali release; Yash Chopra's last directorial venture, Jab Tak Hai Jaan opened to packed houses across the border on Thursday, November 15th.
To celebrate the life and times of Yash Chopra, the television and film fraternity in Karachi gathered to pay tribute to this director extraordinaire with a red carpet premiere of Jab Tak Hai Jaan the same evening as its release.
Tennis player Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi said, "I'm not a big fan of romantic movies. But Yash Chopra has produced so many classics through out his lifetime and we all should come out and give tribute to him. And I'm just looking forward to this movie, I'm sure it will be a great one as well."
Despite Jab Tak Hai Jaan being Yash Chopra's first and only film to release on big screen in Pakistan; transcending boundaries, Yash Chopra is remembered and lauded by his fans, as the 'king of romance'.
"Jis qism ki log filmain dekhna chahatay hain, jis qism ka romance dekhna chahtay hain, I think un ko logon kis us nafas ka pata tha kay un ko kya kya dekhana hai. Romance kay moments to create karma un ko bohat acha aata tha," said Humayun Saeed, actor of Bollywood film, Jashn.
And even after his passing, Yash Chopra through his legacy of cinematic classics continues to inspire artists across the border.
Actress Humaima Malick who starred in the award winning film, Bol, said, "I am one of the luckiest people in this world to have met Yash ji, one on one. Still today remember, the warmth he shared with me and the way he welcomed me at his office This film brings a lot of intensity to me as an artist. Yash Raj, Yash Chopra was the one and only, who actually tells us how to romance on screen. And I think that was the most sensitive thing about him."
A son of Lahore; Mr Chopra's narratives like in the case of Veer Zara, have often brought forth his fondness for Pakistan. Only fitting for audiences across the border, to bid him adieu by on 35mm.
Writer Shagufta Rafique of Raaz fame, says, "I think if he were there, he would have been part of this too. He would have loved to come and see the film in Pakistan. He must be very happy wherever he is, thinking that there are people in the country where he was once part of, watching the film and admiring it at the same time. He would have been very happy."
Having struck a chord with audiences in Pakistan, Jab Tak Hai Jaan's red-carpert screening concluded to the sound of thunderous applause and a standing ovation in honour of one of Bollywood's and Lahore's finest - Yash Chopra.