Dear Swara, I am a huge Bollywood buff. When they say diamond is a girl’s best friend, I like replacing it with Bollywood. Be that Madhuri’s ‘chanay kay khait mei’ or Sri Devi’s ‘hawa hawai’, my life revolves around it. My day has to begin with a groovy Bollywood number to spend it happily. I am superstitious like that. I remember situations and events in my life through songs associated with them. I have recently moved from Dubai to Pakistan. There I was always the first one to book the first show. Since moving back in the fourth week of April I was anxiously waiting to watch ‘Veere di Wedding’, your much-talked-about movie. Despite being a ‘bebo-holic’ I was also looking forward to watch this movie for you. Your work in Tanu Weds Manu and Anarkali of Ara had caught my fancy way back. I also followed you on Instagram to watch all your intelligent posts and pictures in awe. Swara, as much as I still want to watch ‘Veere di Wedding’, you have lost all your ‘veeres’ in Pakistan. We are not a failing state but you have failed us on many levels with your hateful statement Not only this, being a Lahori, I was also a great fan of one of your interviews for a Pakistani show two years ago when you effectively praised Lahore during your trip here. You were immensely joyous while excitedly telling how much this country loved you and how you considered this city over and above any city in the world; be it New York or Istanbul. You won our hearts effortlessly. On the release of Padmavat you wrote an open letter to Sanjay Leela Bhansali and were aggressively trolled by the extremist Hindutva clan. Swara, we stood by your side. We loved you beyond all measures. We knew you were not just another glamorous Bollywood actress. You had brains. When your film ‘Veere di Wedding’ was banned in Pakistan, we were devastated. We criticised our government for this unfair decision. We started thinking of ways and means to watch it, until we came across your recent interview with Rajeev Masand. You clearly slammed Pakistan for being an un-secular, sharia-driven and ‘failed state’. Quite a shift, Swara! Yes we are un-secular but we are neither sharia-driven nor a failing state. Glad you come from a country where everyone has all the rights to experience their religious freedom. Glad no Muslim has ever been lynched for eating beef there. Glad your countrymen respect your anti-extremism views and never troll you. So glad and happy for you Swara! Hope you never have to visit an un-secular country you term a failing state where you are welcomed with open arms and yet you choose to slam it just for the sake of promoting your film. Hope you never have to visit a city you placed above any place in the world. Hope your movies are released only in the countries worth it. Swara, as much as I still want to watch ‘Veere di Wedding’, you have lost all your ‘veers’ in Pakistan. We are not a failing state but you have failed us on many levels with your hateful statement. Good luck for your film and life. With disappointment, A veere you lost in Pakistan Published in Daily Times, June 8th 2018.