Tripping on Stripping

Poonam, Veena and Paoli
In the past week alone, Poonam Pandey has finally begun work on her Bollywood debut, after a succession of threats to pose nude if the Indian cricket team reaches new zeniths, which never happened. Veena Malik, of Bigg Boss infamy, has sent signals that she is willing to pose nude for Playboy if the dosh is good. i.e. $ 1 million dollars. (her FHM cover shoot, in which she appeared topless, recently ruffled many a feather); and Paoli Dam has become a B-grade star on the rise in Bollywood with Hate Story hitting newer ebbs in the perennial skin fest bankrolled by the Bhatts.

What is the big hurry, one might ask, for this sudden rush to drop your clothes? The reasons are three-fold: for one, with films like LSD, The Dirty Picture and Ragini MMS, breaking new ground with how much is permissible on screen has become easier. The market for this sort of film has therefore increased manifold; come to think of it, it always existed in the DVD market, but there is a decided kink, it seems, in seeing these films on screen. Thirdly, within the Bollywood kitty of leading heroines not many are even willing to go to the extent Vidya Balan went to in 'Dirty Picture', a tour de force that won her the National Award.

The result: there is a gold rush amongst aspirants in the Bermuda triangle of aspiration that lies between the nodal points of Yari Road, Oshiwara and Malad. While a Kareena Kapoor will have reservations about wearing a bikini even for her beau's home production, those on the perennial periphery have not much to lose, and everything to gain, if you hit the odd jackpot.

Here's a look at three women who've been in the news for their desire to bare all. Sorry for not including Sunny Leone; she's engaging the same process, albeit in reverse with roles in Ragini MMS 2 and Jism 2.

Veena Malik to go nude for Playboy on Page 2>>


Video: Lehren

Veena Malik: Her entry into India itself was fraught with controversy. Veena Malik had accused her boyfriend Mohammad Asif of match fixing days before he was convicted by the UK courts. Once on Bigg Boss, she did not live up to the hype. However, once outside the Panvel farmhouse, Malik raised a hornet's nest when she posed topless for the cover of FHM magazine. She tried to do a turnaround by suggesting that the magazine might have morphed her photographs, and tried to sue them. The magazine released an official statement that no such digital treatment was done to her. It now turns out that she's claiming she'd be happy to pose nude for Playboy magazine, but then again, word-of-mouth does spread. The folks at Playboy might not like turncoats…
Poonam Pandey wants to pose nude on Page 3>>

Poonam Pandey: Little is known about the antecedents of Poonam Pandey, save for the fact that she earned her 15 minutes of fame when she said that she would pose nude each time India won a cricket match. Dhoni and his cronies did not respond once to the provocation. Then she claimed that she was a staunch proponent of pornography and that it should be legitimized as an industry, that she would set ashore to LA and seek roles in the industry. No one from LA called either. The latest we hear is that she has finally signed for a Bollywood film. Let's hope it earns her the success so that she may go shopping for some prêt in Paris.
Paoli Dam in Hate Story: Strictly for Adults on Page 4>>

Paoli Dam: Granted she has many Bengali films behind her, and has also made her Bollywood debut. However, Paoli Dam's eagerness to bare had even sleaze veterans worried when Hate Story opened in cinemas last Friday. Was there a dire need to take on a role in the irredeemably misogynistic Hate Story? Then again, if one observes Paoli's filmography more closely, she has faced flak in the past for a full frontal nude scene in the 2011 Bengali movie Chhatrak (Mushrooms). So Hate Story might have been a stepping stone of sorts.