Sunny Side Up


Sunny Side Up

International porn star Sunny Leone’s starry persona overwriting prejudged notions about porn actors was evident on the Thursday night episode of Bigg Boss Season 5. The most recent inmate in the Bigg Boss house,Leone pole-danced to Susheela Raman’s rendering of an old Mukesh Kumar number,Yeh Mera Deewanapan Hai from the 1958 film,Yahudi. A sexy,wholesome act minus the crassness associated with the business of sleaze,it reopens the debate about what defines vulgarity on reality TV in India.

Bigg Boss strategises and thrives on vulgarians making hay and has shown us a variety of vulgar acts in its various seasons. If Rakhi Sawant’s coquettish vanity topped the list,Payal Rohatgi getting intimate with Rahul Mahajan,Veena Malik pouting every time a male member crossed her path and current contestant Akashdeep Saigal’s (irritatingly called Sky) never ending “I,Me,Myself” lectures came a close second . All vulgar acts. Last year,when Baywatch star Pamela Anderson entered the show brooming the house in what looked like sarongs wrapped around her bust,the Information and Broadcasting ministry wanted Bigg Boss to be banished to a late night slot. A hoarse media debated whether the show had actually crossed the line and whether the channel should consider self-censorship. Anderson tried a balancing act with saris,bindis and her genuine niceness but it was rendered helpless before her physical assets which hogged the limelight.

If Bigg Boss strategists thought they will accentuate the game’s notoriety with Canada-born Punjabi Leone,they are thankfully wrong. She is a catch alright,but not for expected reasons. She looks young,fresh,smart and accommodating just as modern Indian girls should. “Thoda spice daloongi,” she said in Canadian Hindi,chuckling to herself. Then in black boots,fishnet stockings,red lipstick,a strappy top and denim shorts,went about and set fire to the house with that dance,as coolly as if she was distributing marshmallows. She combined the rehearsed ease of a professional in her act with the spontaneity of reality TV.

This is the closest Indian Television has come to showing female sexuality in the right way,neither strangulated by oppressive saris of saas-bahu soaps,nor irrelevantly exposed like Rakhi Sawant’s cleavage.