I used to like Sunny Leone. Now I like her more. She's adopted a 21-month-old baby girl from Latur and given her the name Nisha Kaur Webber. I think what Sunny and her husband Daniel Webber have done is absolutely heroic. But some people think otherwise. They won't ever let Sunny forget that before she came to Bollywood in 2012 to become a Hindi film actress, she was an Indo-Canadian porn star. Never mind that it was probably these same people who insidiously surfed the net in the privacy of their bedrooms to watch her adult videos and made Sunny the most Googled Indian personality for ten years running.
The critics may not give me credit for the films I make. But nobody can take away my popularity. I've not purchased it.
She's more popular on the Internet than Salman Khan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And that's a crazy distinction. But I really don't know if Sunny's transition from porn star to film actress has been successful. Bollywood welcomed her. And directors count her among the few actresses in Hindi cinema who can guarantee a film an opening Friday of Rs. 9 crores. I don't think this acceptance has come because Sunny has been sexually explicit in Hindi films. The Central Board of Film Certification won't let that happen. Her body of work in Bollywood so far is definitely iffy. She isn't a good actress. Sunny's simply popular.
I've interviewed her. From up close, she is petite and beautiful. Not outrageously sexy as an X-rated adult movies queen might be. She zapped me with a wide and friendly smile, her eyes sparkling with the intelligence behind her replies. She explained her stardom to me, "The critics may not give me credit for the films I make. But nobody can take away my popularity. I've not purchased it. Not swindled anybody for it. Or persuaded anybody to do it for me. The people made me popular." She also described the love making scenes that our spoilsport Censor Board notoriously snips out of films. "They are like a choreographed dance," Sunny laughed, "the actors are guided on how to touch, hold, grab, the sex is just an illusion, this is a director's vision... there is no real creativity."
Now Sunny is breaking the Internet for her adopted Maharashtrian baby. But sadly, she is also being viciously trolled. Several people have taken a jaundiced view to her compassion. What values will a former porn artiste teach her adopted daughter, is among the kindest questions they are asking. I am ashamed of such bigoted people. Their minds are in the gutter. What values would a girl child abandoned in an Indian orphanage where children are known to be sexually molested grow up with otherwise, I want to ask them.
They won't ever let Sunny forget that before she came to Bollywood in 2012 to become a Hindi film actress, she was an Indo-Canadian porn star.
But Sunny is unaffected by the negativity and hate. Her excitement and happiness spill over in emotional interviews she gives about baby Nisha and being suddenly pitch-forked into motherhood. "Other mothers get nine months to prepare, I literally had three weeks!" she beams. Some narrow-minded people want to know why she decided to adopt and could not have a biological child of her own. "Why not?" Sunny counters. "I wasn't brought up here and some things in India just break my heart. While going to the Mumbai airport, you cross this overpass and see little kids with no clothes, no shoes and no food. Maybe I can't save every child but can do it for one little girl." Her explanation has satisfied the Indian government which ratifies every adoption in the country. But not some insensitive Indians who believe a former porn star is good for only one thing. Shame on them. If only they had Sunny Leone's power to say, "I will not let Baby Nisha's story end like this."