There is a Buddhist parable. Two Buddhist celibate monks, Hakaku and Sangmu, who have been taught not to have any contact with women, are walking back to their monastery. They come to a river where a young woman is standing, wondering how to cross it. Hakaku looks the other way and starts to cross the river. Sangmu lifts the woman onto his back and crosses the river. After he puts the woman down, the two monks continue their walk. Hakaku then starts a tirade, ticking off Sangmu for touching the woman. He is furious about the contact with the woman and Sangmu listens silently. Hakaku carries on blasting Sangmu right up to the gates of the monastery. Finally, Sangmu turns to Hakaku and says, “I left the woman on the other side of the river but she is still with you”.
Bhupender Chaubey interviewed Sunny Leone on CNN-IBN on January 15. It was supposed to be Sunny Leone on the Hot Seat, which Chaubey reminded us in his promo talk with Zakar Jacob. He boasted how his programme is about tough questions and gloated on how Hot Seat usually makes the interviewed extremely uncomfortable. Chaubey seeks to expose people in his Hot Seat. The only person Chaubey exposed in his interview with Sunny Leone was Bhupender Chaubey himself.
Despite snobbishly sniffing that he had not seen any of her films, since he is so highbrow and has children at home, his brilliance was on display that he could lift directly from Hindi movie dialogues for his questions, even though he had not seen the films. Wah! Wah! Kya baat hai! Of course, he prettied them up for respectable TV news. Here is a hermeneutic on the interview.
1. Chaubey introduction: She is someone who generates curiosity and hatred at the same time. She remains contentious, controversial and someone often described as completely antithetical to what we perceive as the idea of an Indian woman.
What Chaubey is really saying – From the film Ajooba: Hamare Hind mein auraton ko izzat ki nazaron se dekha jaata hai … hawas aur besharmi se nahi.
2. Chaubey: I’m calling you Sunny not Karanjeet. Does someone call you Karanjeet by any chance?
What Chaubey is really saying – From the film Deewar: Tumhari jaisi ladkiyan apna naam … kapdon ki tarah badalti hai
3. Chaubey: Tell me one thing that you regret. One thing that went wrong for you. What went wrong for you?
What Chaubey is really saying: Kya Kehena: Jab bhi koi samaaj ke niyam todta hai … maryada ki rekha ka ulanghan karta hai … toh sach much uske paas ek hi rasta bachta hai … prayashchit
4. Chaubey: What kind of mistakes did you make?
Chaubey is really saying: Ram Lakhan: Aurat ka sangharsh uske aasuon se nahi … uske nischay se hota hai.
5. Chaubey: Kapil Sharma said he was not too comfortable shooting with you because he thought he had family audiences and Sunny Leone really didn’t fit with the description of family audiences.
Really saying: Tumse Acha Kaun Hai: Ladki khandan ki ek band mutthi hai … jab tak yeh mutthi band hai sharafat, sharafat hai … jis din yeh mutthi khul gayi … ek shareef ladki aur ek bazaari aurat mein koi farak nahi.
6. Chaubey: The director of your film Ek Pehli Leela Bobby Khan said he went to a lot of big stars, male actors to perform with you in that film, and nobody wanted to. Did that make you feel bad? I’m raising all this because it seems that while your commercial value of your work seems to be doing quite well but there is a lot of resistance issues about you. How do you deal with that?
Really saying: Maine Pyaar Kiya: Dekho meri tumse koi dushmani nahi, tumhein is ghar mein rehne ki sahuliyat di gayi thi, koi adhikaar nahin. Pehle humari haisiyat tak aate Karan, uske baad sapne dekhte.
7. Chaubey: Do you think an Amir Khan would ever work with you? So you would want to work with Amir Khan but Amir would not want to work with you. How does that affect you?
Really saying: Ram Lakhan: Naachne gaane wali vaihsyaaein aayin hain toe kya hua, mehfil toe shareefon ki hai.
8. Chaubey: Is your past in every way literally figuratively in every way a thing of the past now? Is that something you think about? If I was to turn the clock back, would you still do what you did?
Really saying: Mother: Aurat ka charitra safed chaddar hota hai … aur agar uspar daag lag jaye toh woh kabhi nahi dhulta.
9. Chaubey: You would still do the kind of shoots, the kind of work you used to do before you came into Bollywood?
Really saying: Guru Suleman Chela Pahelwan: Aurat ki zindagi doodh ki tarah hoti hai … jisko ek zara se namak ki dali bhi bekaar kar deti hai
10. Chaubey: You are the first person, and pardon me if I am being offensive here, how many people growing up would think of being a porn star?
Really saying: Khoon Pasina: Agar kisi ki beti ki izzat ek baar lut jaye … toh duniya ki sari daulat usse vapas nahi la sakti.
11. Chaubey: You say you felt it was sexy, it was beautiful, but look at how your actions are being interpreted in India. Atul Anjan, CPI member of parliament of the CPI, has consistently gone on record, mind you he’s not the only one, where he holds you responsible for corrupting Indian minds, Indian morality. When these kinds of comments are made how do you deal with them?
Really saying: Aitraaz: Aurat nadi ke samaan hoti hai … yadi apne kinaron ki maryada mein rahe, toh lati hai khushali … aur yadi apne kinaron ki maryada todh de, toh lati hai vinash, barbadi.
12. Chaubey: There are some who believe that if Sunny Leone is becoming this brand ambassador of sorts of India, that it is a very dangerous trend to have.
Really saying: Saugandh: Agar ghar ka mard bighad jaye toh sirf ek nasal barbaad hoti hai … lekin agar ek aurat bighad jaye toh us ghar ki saat nasalen tabah ho jaati hai.
13. Chaubey: A lot of commentary which has gone on, on social media in particular where you are very popular, there are many housewives for instance, there are many Indians not just housewives but there are many Indian married women who look at Sunny Leone as a threat towards their husbands. They believe that their husbands will be taken away by Sunny Leone.
Really saying: Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam: Mard aurat ka bhagwan hota hai … balki usse bhi ooncha hota hai
11 minutes into the programme, Chaubey finally remembers why Sunny is giving him the interview and asks her what her movie Mastizaade is about.
Sunny: It is a love story about two boys and two girls that want to be together.
14. Chaubey: Is it about two boys and two girls just wanting to have sex? Or is it about love? Love, lust?
Really saying: Kya Kool Hai Hum: Aaj kal ki ladkiyaan coffee peene aati hai … kaafi dikhane aati hai
15. Chaubey: People on my timeline, want me to ask you all these nasty questions. How does this extreme curiosity and this extreme hatred if it goes hand in hand for you, it maybe your USP, but how do you deal with it?
Really saying: Hawaalat: Aurat ke daman par agar ek baar daag lag jaata hai … toh Ganga ka pavitra jal bhi usse nahi dho sakta
16. Chaubey: Some viewers of mine are saying that since your identity, since you came in the Big Boss house, your identity remains that of your past, which is your association with pornography and porn stuff, they believe, that you are actually not an actor. You are still not an actor and you are doing nothing else, but some are accusing you literally of lowering the fine art of cinema. Is that a just criticism?
Really saying: Kaagaz ke Phool: Filmy duniya mein insaan ek baar gira … toh girta hi jaata hai.
17. Chaubey: So what is this about? Is this about money? Ultimately it is about money?
Really saying: Pyar Ka Punchnama: Har ladki ki life mein ek umar aati hai jab usse realise hota hai ki ab uski life … ek driver, ek bodyguard, ek naukar aur ek ATM ke bina nahi chal sakti … aur ab ladki itna sab kuch toh afford kar sakti nahi na … toh ladkiyan dhoondti hai boyfriend.
18. Chaubey: My viewers would like to know you. Are you an actor? Do you look at acting as a serious profession? You have a body. Do you believe it’s your body that will take you everywhere?
Really saying: Veeru Dada: Aurat ke husn ka nishana kabhi khali nahi jaata.
19. Chaubey: You know a lot of chatterrati which because I’m interviewing you, takes place that you see a Sunny Leone film you will get morally corrupted. I’m wondering if I’m being morally corrupted because I’m interviewing you.
Really saying: Jism: Mera dimag mere jism ka ghulam ho gaya tha.
20. Chaubey: Are you saying we will see Sunny Leone in a saree, head to toe, covered? That also has its own charm.
Really saying: Rang Rasiya: Naari beech saree hai, ki saree beech naari hai … naari hai ki saree hai, ki saree hai ki naari hai
Like the monk Hakaku who carried the girl with him although he never touched her, Bhupender Chaubey carried Sunny Leone’s past with him, even though Sunny herself has left it behind. The interview is of little else. For a journalist, to have missed Sunny’s conatus showed again that the eyes only see what the mind knows. Besides his leering approach and stilted, oppressive, calcified morality, he had not done his homework. At least, not what he should have. He mentioned Bollywood stars who are involved in politics – Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Ajay Devgan. None of those mentioned are involved in politics. Chaubey mispronounced her name as Sunny Leeohn except once when he said Sunny Loeneee. Where was his brain? . (Now, raise your eyebrows twice as you read the following sentence and wink.)
Perhaps it got sodden with too much of the wrong kind of research.