Real Aping Reel: Kashmir Valley Gripped By 'Haider' Pheran Fever

10 February 2015

Srinagar: Forget the imam controversy, Haider is setting a new fashion agenda in the entertainment-starved Kashmir. Famed Kashmiri pheran (a loose gown used by people during winter) has become trendy with Vishal Bhardwaj's Haider. The checkered black pheran donned by Shahid Kapoor in the movie is selling like hot cakes in the Kashmir valley. Ishtiyaq Ahmad, 40, could not resist the temptation of buying the Haider pheran after watching the film on DVD, since there are no cinemas in the valley. 'When I watched the movie, I was fascinated by the black pheran donned by Shahid Kapoor. I told my wife that I should get one. We finally got it stitched, but it took a tailor more than 15 days to deliver it, owing to the rush,' said Ahmad. Welcome to Kashmir, where the 'Haider pheran', as it is now known, has changed the entire fashion scene this season. 'There is a huge demand for it in Kashmir. We are selling 10-15 pherans daily. The cloth had already hit the market, but when the movie was released, its demand picked up', said Mohammad Amin Wani of Fancy Cloth House, a reputed fashion store in the old city. This year, the pheran, which people mainly wear at home, came out of the closet to become a fashion symbol. Even people were seen wearing pherans during functions and in offices. 'Haider pheran costs Rs1,400 to Rs1,500, which is not expensive by our standards. And when a pheran is trendy and has some filmi touch, it adds to the fashion. That is why this year, the Haider pheran became a fashion statement in Kashmir,' said Firdous Ahmad, proprietor of Arifeen, a noted fashion store in Lal chowk. Sociologists said local youth have been adopting these trends from the very beginning in the Kashmir valley. 'Whatever Bollywood flashes, it is being adopted in Kashmir, irrespective of the political development. When Indira Gandhi wore a pheran, it became popular among Kashmiris. Now, the new variety has come and it has also become popular. Cultural effects go irrespective of political developments,' said Dr Bashir Ahmad Dabla, professor of sociology at University of Kashmir.