Sunny Leone at Priya Cinema and (below) at the Cinemax, Mani Square, box office on Tuesday. Pictures by Pabitra Das and Anindya Shankar Ray
She came, she waved, she conquered. Thousands of men and a handful of women clicked, screamed and tripped over themselves to get up close and (almost) personal with Sunny Leone as she promoted her Bollywood debut Jism 2 in the city on Tuesday. Metro was there at every stop.
Is Sunny Deol here?
No, someone way hotter, Sunny Leone!
This was the exchange between two friends at Priya Cinema as the 31-year-old adult entertainer emerged from her car in a green-and-black dress. Those faster on the draw were already going click-click-click on their cellphones. Those not within shooting range were chanting her name.
Some in the surging crowd had waited hours to see Sunny. Like Akash Agarwal and his four friends, who had parked themselves at the Deshapriya Park cinema from 2pm, three hours before she showed up. “I loved Jism 2 and more importantly, Sunny in the film. I have also watched many of her porn films and think she does a fabulous job,” said Akash.
Had his friends too seen Sunny’s adult videos? “You won’t find a single guy in this world who hasn’t!” laughed the boys, all college students.
If they were bunking classes, older men were bunking office. “I skipped an important meeting just to see Sunny. I wasn’t going to pass an opportunity to see such a hot woman,” said Debashish Banerjee, who managed to shake hands with the actress. “She’s so pretty! Her smile is to die for,” he continued.
The cynosure of all eyes seemed surprised by the attention. “It’s my first time in Calcutta. I didn’t expect so many people to know me and reach out to me like this. It’s been overwhelming. I am so grateful,” she told Metro.
Accompanied by actor-turned-producer Dino Morea and city boy Arkopravo Mukherjee, who scored the music for Jism 2, Sunny later interacted with the fans. When she blew kisses, they blew kisses back. When she smiled, they let out a roar. And when she asked ‘Calcutta kemon achho?’ they went berserk.
“Managing to see her and touch her hand was a dream come true. I can brag about it for many days,” said college student Arijit Maity. Even the women in the crowd cheered for Sunny. “I have watched Jism 2 thrice and plan to go back a few more times. And it’s just for Sunny,” said schoolteacher Anusuya Ghosh.
The anticipatory hum at the Mani Square mall turned into full-on aware buzz half an hour before Sunny Leone arrived.
Cellphones and digicams in hand, the fans chanted, screamed and hooted, pushing against a barricade where guards kept saying: “Ekhono asheni, please move back.” All the empty spots by the fourth and fifth floor railings were soon taken as men pushed and shoved for a view from the top.
“Sunny ke liye aye hain, Sunny ko dekh ke jayenge,” shouted one, almost in morcha mode, drawing cheers of support.
“I have seen her works, also Jism 2. I love Sunny Leone. When I found out that she was coming here, I had to see her in the flesh. Bahut sexy hai,” said Rehan Hussain, as Sunny walked into the multiplex with a smile and took her place behind the box office counter to hand over tickets to a lucky few like Akhil Khanuja and his friends Saurav Mishra and Gopal Shah.
“We all know about Sunny and have seen her of course, so we just had to catch her movie. When we came here we never thought we would be lucky enough to be given the tickets by her! It was awesome!” gushed Akhil, who got Sunny to autograph his ticket.
When the star smiled and asked “Kemon achho Calcutta?”, never better seemed to be the common answer. When she made an earnest attempt to say ‘I love you’ in Bengali, the crowd screamed “bhalobashi” before she could complete the sentence. The moment Sunny left the mall, the crowd too vanished, laden with all the bhalobasha she bestowed, of course!
Those watching Jism 2 at the plex were in for a surprise as the interval brought Sunny Leone straight from the big screen to live action. With a coy “Hello Calcutta”, she had the men in the auditorium eating out of her hands. In a marvellous show of multi-tasking, the boy brigade jumped over chairs, frantically searched for their phones in their pockets and drooled at the same time.
“There I was sitting and watching her on screen and then there she was! I have been her fan since watching Bigg Boss. She is even more fair and pretty in real life,” said a slightly slack-jawed Vishal Gupta, while his exasperated companion Pinki Shaw muttered: “He of course knows all about Sunny, why else would he come here? He dragged me along!”
As for Sunny, she could not help but say: “These are the craziest of all the fans I’ve seen. It’s amazing. What a turnout!”
There were several requests from her fans for her to shift base to Calcutta before she broke all manly hearts in the auditorium by offering her bouquet of flowers to a woman and left with a resounding “Tata!”