“I just want to meet her, you know, talk to her”, a pretty vivacious talented dancer engineer said to the group waiting to go on stage as the opening act for Sunny Leone and Mika Singh. “She is from a village near Ludhiana, my village”, said another. “I wonder how she reached, you know, how from Ludhiana she reached what she did before, you know”, said one of the two men dancing in the group. “Mika Singh, he to just sings, you know, you can just hear him. But she dances and acts, you know, so I need to see her face to face”.
I knew Sunny Leone had been a porn star, but with no real familiarity with modern Bollywood, I hadn’t really thought about this phenomenon in Indian cinema. But I had read Shobha De’s books, specially the dark tale based on Rekha’s life, winced as the teen South Indian actress was physically felt up by sundry directors who admired her assets but disdained her color and accent. Very familiar with the hypocrisy of Indian sexuality, all conservative religious ceremonies cloaking ignorant, frustrated, desperate need, I accepted the insider stories and disliked the euphemisms rampant in desi masala films. But an ex-porn star? At an event where hundreds of children were running around, desi aunties were tittering coyly in their shiny satin creased dresses, and alcohol was being dispensed in plastic cups of pink cosmopolitans to desi uncles sniggering in groups away from their families.
I wondered what Sunny thought, a Penthouse Playmate from 2004, an adult movie performer (her website is still active, 60% of her revenue comes from India) as she strutted onto the stage at 9.00 pm, after several other dancers had done their best badonka donk moves, after my daughter had danced to Drama Queen with a group of 20 other kids, an RJ had shaken her stuff on stage, the host had tried gamely to whip the crowd’s energy by loudly chanting Suuuu…Neeee…..Suuuuu….Neee.
As I escorted the kids (who had taken pix with Mika, but not with Sunny cos she had arrived late and needed to get ready) in my care out of the stadium, I met several friends, we hugged and exchanged greetings, commented on each other’s children, a couple even touched my parents’ feet (oh yes, I had brought my parents!).
She was born and brought up in small town Canada, and after a desultory search, I was unable to find any real story behind her decisions. Maybe it was the fact that she limited herself to lesbian encounters other than the two men with whom she had relationships (both her husbands while directing her porn career) makes her acceptable in mainstream India. One must have a devil to display, after all, and female sexuality is a popular one recently.

Aug 31, 2014

Sunny Leone
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