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6 Interesting Things To Know About Neerja

Anokhi Buzz Anokhi DIY Entertainment & Gossip Feb 03, 2016

A biopic on Neerja Bhanot, titled Neerja, hits theatres on February 19. It's the story of an Indian air hostess who lost her life trying to save passengers during a flight hijacking. 

There are many interesting facts to know about Bhanot and the film before you head to the box office. Here are the top six points of interest.


The event took place in 1986, and a tribute to the hero has been long overdue. Bhanot worked for Pan Am Airlines. On the tragic day, her timely shout of "hijack!" as well as her role in keeping passengers calm and finally helping them escape through the emergency door made her the hijackers' target. She could have escaped before the others, but she chose not to. She also shielded three children from bullets, one of whom is now a pilot himself. For her incredibile bravery, she was awarded the Ashoka Chakra Award, India's highest military decoration. 

Stamp released by Indian Postal Service in 2004
Photo Credit:


The film is also the story of a mother and a daughter, played by Shabana Azmi and Sonam Kapoor, respectively.

Shabana Ami takes on the role of Neerja's mother, the late Rama Bhanot.
Photo Credits L–R: and


Bhanot was also a model. She starred in commercials for Benzer sarees, Binaca toothpaste and other brands. Check out her Amul Chocolate advertisement below.


Celebrities like Aamir Khan, Raj Kumar Hirani, Boman Irani and Vidya Balan have been expressing their heartfelt support for the film. Check out the video below.


This film marks Ram Madhvani's directorial debut. His experience with commercials spans 20 years. He researched the history behind the story extensively. The film's budget is Rs. 21 crore through Atul Kasebekar and Fox Star Studios. Despite the small budget, the film's producer assured the public that there's no compromise on quality. The script is written by Mary Kom writer Saiwyn Quadras.

Ram Madhavani and Atul Kasbekar
Photo Credit:

Saiwyn Quadras
Photo Credit:


A special screening will take place for hijacking survivor Shirin Kureshi. Kureshi remarked, "It will certainly take me back in that day of my life. While it will be traumatic, there is also a deep sense of gratitude to people like Neerja for this second life I am living now."

Watch the trailer and share your comments with us below!

Main Image Photo Credit:

Sanam Malik

Sanam Malik


Sanam writes on current affairs and pop culture. An English graduate from the University of Toronto, she identifies as a global citizen, feminist and nature lover. She will be ready to shake a leg to a peppy Bollywood beat any day.


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