Mumbai, Dec. 17: Make-believe is okay, anything more is not.
When an afternoon newspaper published pictures showing Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapur (or their lookalikes as the actors have denied it was them) indulging in a bout of what has come to be known as public display of affection (PDA), it sent shockwaves among some sections.
But the Indian audience, or public, is actually quite cool. What they will not tolerate in the real lives of their public figures, they will, and much more, in the reel lives of the same figures.
Here's a checklist of some of the worst cases of onscreen PDA the public has endured ' and forgiven ' in the recent past.
• Actors Govinda and Karisma, Kareena's elder sister, in the movie Rajababu. During a number that seems to be inspired by vowels, titled Aa aa ee, oo oo oo, Govinda, who refers to himself as an 'angutha chaap', makes Karisma stick out her tongue and, repeatedly and with great force, presses his thumb on it.
If it is not mistaken for a literacy drive, a greater gesture of intimacy, where the woman obviously takes pleasure in the pain, can hardly be imagined.
• The same Govinda and Karisma in the same film in a different number called Sarkay lo khatiya jara lage. It's unbelievable what the pair does to each other and to the poor little khatiya. It's a pity khatiyas can't sue for sexual violence.
• Madhuri Dixit in the Dhak Dhak song from Beta, where she has Anil Kapoor gasping for breath trying to deal with her swaying, gyrating, undulating not-fully covered back.
It has been observed that in the number Madhuri did with her back alone what other women could not with all their body parts put together ' and she did it without even baring it fully.
• The same Dixit in the Choli ke peechhe kya hai song from Khalnayak. Clad in an ethnic bustier, she pointed at her heaving chest in full view of others and looked at Sanjay Dutt, who had a patch over one of his eyes but could obviously see. However, the song said that beneath the choli, lay the heart.
• Mallika Sherawat in Khwaish. She kissed 17 times, and the amount of mouth rinse used on the sets sent the national sales figures of mouth rinse skyrocketing.
• Mallika again in Murder. Would there be such synergy between Bheegen hoth and a wet shower if she did not act in the film'
• Bipasha Basu in Jism with John Abraham. Clad in shell ornaments, she straddled Abraham on a sea beach.
Her movements were surely meant to simulate the waves, and not anything else, because she denied that the visualisation had anything to do with a certain gross physical act, and everything to do with sensuality.
• Mithun Chakraborty in a song called Chad gaya upar re, atariya mein lotan kabutar re in a film called Dalal, also starring Ayesha Julka ' with everyone imitating the birds.
• Mithunda again in Agneepath in a song that went I yam Krishnan Iyer Yam Ye, Main hu nariyal paani waala, Hum lungi uthake tumko disco dikhayenge. It was accompanied by appropriate gestures ' and going to a disco has never been the same again.
All committed PDA, but were they ever shot with a mobile phone camera'