I make movies on Punjab as I know the culture well, says Yash Chopra

As Punjabi characters takes centrestage on the celluloid and Bollywood emerges as the new 'Punjab', Yash Chopra's visit to Ludhiana helps put things into perspective. His reason for choosing Punjab as a backdrop in all his movies is a bit different.

"I do not know much about other cultures. As the Punjabi culture is in my blood, I find it easy to think of Punjabi characters and base my scripts on them," says Chopra, one of the most successful directors in Bollywood with a career spanning over five decades.

"All my films have Punjab and Punjabi characters in them. I am proud of this and not at all ashamed that I can't write stories about other cultures," adds Chopra, in the city on a personal visit to his friends and partners Anil Nanha Puri and Sanjeev Puri.

Praising his son's latest directorial venture Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, he remarked that it was an honest attempt. "The movie begins and ends with the Golden Temple because we believe so much in it," he says explaining why his son also chose to tell the story of an ordinary man from Amritsar. "As for Veer Zaara, it was my personal tribute to the Punjabs of both the neighbouring countries," he said.

And his take on Slumdog Millionaire's Oscar success? Chopra terms it the greatest award for Indian viewers ever.

"Indian cinema has finally come of age. It looked like an Indian festival was going on at the Kodak Theatre when the stage was filled Indian artistes, including A R Rahman and Anil Kapoor. It was a proud moment for India. I think Gulzar should also have been there," he says.

"Slumdog is an Indian movie with Indian starcast and crew. But it might not have reached where it finally did had it not been an English film. Having said that, I would like to add that it was a brilliantly made movie by Danny Boyle with a very strong screenplay," says Chopra.

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