By promising to strip for the Indian cricket team in the event of India winning the World Cup, this starlet shot to fame overnight by trending on Twitter for over 72 hours and also became Google India’s most searched personality in the last 48 hours.
And she’s not even 20! Poonam Pandey’s meteoric rise has made Bal Thackeray himself sit up and take notice as the Sena chief warned her against facing the wrath of the Sainiks on Friday afternoon. I caught up with Poonam for a quick telephonic chat on her vow, increasing pressure from fans who expect her to keep her promise, criticism and even the looming threat of moral policing.
Q: Are you aware of the exceptions to Freedom of expression granted under Article 19?
A: Are YOU aware of Articles 34 D? My World Cup is bigger than that! (laughs) Of course, yes. I did consult my friend who’s studying law and she said I could be charged with obscenity. You tell me, is the female human body obscene? Or is it your gaze that makes it obscene? Like beauty, obscenity is in the eye of the beholder. Whoever wants to charge me with obscenity can come and look for themselves if what I do is obscene. I want to see what is it about the female form that disturbs them. I’m sure my form will excite them.
Q: You speak with absolute certainty that India will win the Cup and you will be stripping in the stadium.
A: No, I will not be stripping in the stadium because I have been advised that there will be a law and order problem and the BCCI has refused to meet me over the last two days. But yes, I am sure India will beat Sri Lanka. And it won’t be just me who will have panties in a bunch (laughs).
Q: Lack of permission may seem to be a convenient way out of not being able to stick to the promised deal to your critics and fellow models who have lashed out against you. Aren’t you worried about the backlash?
A: I will certainly not back out of it. There are so many ways to do it. I can do it from my website through a live webcast. I can do it on camera for an exclusive TV channel. We’re still working out the possibilities and I will make an announcement after the result of the match. I am not worried about anything. The backlash will be there even after I keep my promise. We are a country of hypocrites. Men want to see women naked, they strip women with their eyes but cannot handle it when a woman does it out of her own will because she can do what they can never do. If they took their clothes off, women would close their eyes out in horror. That’s how ugly most men look. Also, they have small (pauses) minds.
Q: Ahem! Thanks. But don’t be too sure.
A: (Laughs) I cannot see you over the phone, so no comment. But you sound nice. Also, my agent told me to be nice to the media. (laughs again)
Q: If you had a daughter, would you be happy if she made a similar promise. Is your family taking it well?
A: My family is bindaas. Also they are not old fashioned. They are very very very old fashioned. Because, back in the day, we explored enough to write a manual on different sex positions. Where did the one billion babies come from? Kamasutra is part of India’s pride. Sex is what keeps us going. And if my daughter were to do it, I’d say: I’ll join you and let’s show the boys some love.
Q: Aren’t you too young to be talking about sex?
A: I am 19. If the law thought I was young, it wouldn’t be allowing 12-13 year olds explore each others bodies. Our law lets us have sex when we are over 15 though it does not let us vote. What does that tell you? Sex is part of our culture. So why make a big deal about nudity?
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Q: How come you don’t sound this smart on Twitter?
A: Because, you made up this interview, jackass. Happy Fools Day everyone! =) Go ahead, fool your friends by sending them the link to this interview! Team up and play along like a sport now!