Shah Rukh is `Khan` among young Uzbeks

Tashkent: The popularity of Raj Kapoor in former Soviet republics notwithstanding, young Uzbeks swear by Shah Rukh Khan when it comes to present-day Bollywood.

"I loved Shah Rukh Khan in `Don 2` and `My Name is Khan`. I have watched these films many times," says Bekzod, a guest relation officer at Hotel Miran International here.

"Now I want to see his `Chennai Express`," Bekzod told PTI.
Bekzod`s colleague Ismoil Umarhodjaev also is a Shah Rukh fan.

"I have seen almost all his movies. I love his dialogue delivery style," says Ismoil as he uttered the famous "K-k-Kiran" dialogue from 'Darr'. He also likes movies of Amitabh Bachchan.

Another Shah Rukh follower is Utkur, a young guide and interpreter.

"He is the real Khan," he says.

Film enthusiasts like them in Uzbekistan get DVDs of Bollywood movies dubbed in the local language. Many shops and households in Uzbekistan carry posters of Bollywood stars.

Akhmadjon Kasimov, who runs a special programme `Namaste Hindiston` on Yoshlar Radio, has also dubbed for over 300 Bollywood films including 'Don 2' and 'Ra.One'.

Kasimov, who plays five-six songs every episode, says listeners want to know details about actors like Shah Rukh, Amitabh and Hrithik Roshan.

He also gets a lot of requests asking him to help bring Shah Rukh Khan to Uzbekistan.

"There have been a lot of efforts to bring Shah Rukh," says Kasimov.

Actor Mithun Chakraborty, who is also very popular here, performed at the Istikol Concerts Hall here on May 28 and 29.

"It was a huge success. People loved his performance," says Kasimov.

A 'Bollywood Night' is also planned during the 5th Indian Trade Exhibition here next month organised by the INDIA-CIS Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The older lot, however, still owe their allegiance to the likes of Kapoor and Chakraborty.

Bekzod and Ismoil's colleague Asiya does not watch Bollywood movies. Her mother, however, is a big fan.

"She watches films of Raj Kapoor. She is a big fan. She must have seen these fans plenty of times," says Asiya.

According to Kasimov, the Kapoor family has been in Uzbekistan several times.

"Seven years ago, Randhir and Rishi Kapoor along with singer Nitin Mukesh came here for a program to pay tribute to Raj Kapoor. Randhir Kapoor came again three years ago to attend a film festival," he says.