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Burning, but with jealousy

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  • Published 16.04.07
Peck problem

Mumbai, April 16: Like the Shiv Sena, many Mumbai women aren’t glad that Richard Gere kissed Shilpa Shetty yesterday. They wish it were them getting the pecks.

“I mean, who wouldn’t want to be kissed by him? I would, for sure,” said homemaker Bhavini Kapadia, 35.

She may be turning green, but Khayati Singh had a different pecking order in mind. “Ooh, I’d love to be kissed by Johnny Depp,” the young reporter said.

A day after Hollywood heartthrob Gere gave Shilpa a series of kisses on her cheek at a Delhi AIDS awareness event, the “insult” to Indian culture had saffron outfits burning the actors’ effigies in several cities.

In Navi Mumbai, Sena workers stormed the shoot of Metro, which stars Shilpa, at Vashi railway station and burnt her effigy.

Shilpa, clearly toughened by her stint with the Big Brother bullies, has so far shunned the Indian celeb culture of buckling before an uproar.

“I understand this is his culture, not ours. But this wasn’t such a big thing or so obscene for people to overreact in such a manner,” she said. “I understand people’s sentiments, but I don’t want a foreigner to take bad memories from here.”

A survey today showed Indians have sex oftener than the global average, but Bhavini’s reaction suggested the real problem is PDA — public display of affection: “It’s sad he kissed her before a bunch of truck drivers.”

Sunita Athawle, 23, wasn’t so coy: “I’d love to be kissed by Abhishek Bachchan, and the more people around the better.” PDL — public discussions of longing — continued among her peers despite the survey finding Indian women happier than their partners with their sex lives.

Riya Anandwala would love a kiss from the “so shy” Rahul Dravid and a “hot” one from Hollywood’s Owen Wilson. Celeb Pooja Bedi fancies the “incredibly sexy, well-spoken, charming” George Clooney.

Rakhi Sawant, victim of an allegedly forced smooch by singer Mika, wouldn’t say whom she would kiss, but “Gere shouldn’t have done it in public.”

But Shilpa said: “We are actors, entertainers and I think Richard was only trying to entertain the audience.”