When we were young, the only Sunny we knew was this one guy called Sunil Gavaskar. Some of us knew a Leone too, some firang director whose spaghetti Westerns like “A Fistful of Dollars” and “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” we had seen on bad-quality VHS tapes loaned from Neha Video Library. But we had never heard of the term p***star and even those who had, never knew that this was a legitimate career option. The word adult star was known but in a different wholly innocent context, like what Jugal Hansraj endeavored to be after his lakdi ke kaathi child-star days in “Masoom”.
Yes we had no idea. But it was not our fault—- we did not have Sunny Leone in Big Boss and the media assault of her advent then. Through the centuries, Indian culture has greatly benefited from those that have travelled to it from distant lands like Hiuen Tsang, I-ching (There is a B-tex itching joke I am itching to make here), Al Beruni and Ibn-Batuta (who came bagal main joota…yes this joke I had to make) to name a few. To that list of great names, now add that of Sunny Leone (and yes I am tempted to make the “anals” of history joke here) for bringing the word “p***star” into the Indian cultural lexicon, a natural progression of lust-triggers from “vamp” to “item-girl” to now this.
I was particularly pleased by her statement here where she entreated Indians to understand the distinction between p***stars and p**stitutes/g*golos. Though both engage in intimate acts for money there is a subtle difference between them, which some ignoramuses have difficulty wrapping their minds around. One is reality, and the other merely the artistic simulation of it, the difference between an old man reaching out to yank the finger of a naked man and Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam on the Sistine Chapel.
I am also pleased by the step-by-step “break it to desi parents that I am going to be a p***star” algorithm that she has revealed—-first tell them that you will be doing same-sex scenes whose implication is the same as that of a guy telling his parents he is going to a residential engineering college.
Then migrate to telling them it will be with your committed partner (“It’s like marriage but with cameras and no quarrels”) and then finally to other extreme things (“It’s like having friends over” and “Of course it is with someone I am committed to, but you know how I change my mind every 17 minutes”).
The possibilities of p***star becoming a legitimate profession are endless—- a movie called “P***star” with a lot of intellectual salad-dressing that chronicles a woman looking to become a P***star by experiencing pain, Emran Hashmi finally shedding the label of actor and becoming what he truly has been for years, Madhur Bhandarkar to make a simplistic Class 6-type movie on the subject called P*** and then tout his intellectualism by showing he does “story-boards”, a special FX movie between two characters called R.And and G.And who come out of a p-movie to duke it in the real world.
At the very least, I am happy that after decades of flowers kissing, and heroines being drenched under waterfalls and songs like “Hoton sa lagayee to hungama ho gaya” we may finally move to an age where we can legitimately accept, without hand-wringing and chest-beating and the need to brush under the carpet, the existance.
Of porn. And of pornstars.