Sunny Leone (Pic: Jay Mandal/On Assignment)
All that I know about Sunny Leone is that she is a hugely successful porn movie star who has made a tentative entry into Hindi cinema via a movie called ‘Jism 2"’. Jism, incidentally, means body but is often implicitly used to describe the more sensuous aspects of female anatomy as well. Depending on how it is used in Hindi/Urdu it is prone to crassness.
I had been waiting for a peg to hang these pictures of Sunny that my dear friend and always-on-the-go New York photographer Jay Mandal took in October in his city. Now that Yahoo! India has said she was the most searched celebrity in India in 2012, I have a fairly strong reason to weave a little post around it. To be clear, I never need a peg or an excuse to write anything here.
Before I say anything about Jay’s encounter with her and her guitarist husband Daniel Weber, here is what her official website says about her:
“Sunny Leone was born in Sarnia, Ontario, to parents who emigrated from India. Despite being raised Sikh, her parents enrolled her in a Catholic school, where she had her first kiss at 11, found out she was bisexual at 14, and lost her virginity to a basketball player at 16. When she was 15,her family received their green card and migrated to the United States. They first moved to Fort Gratiot, Michigan, then to Lake Forest, California, before finally settling down in Orange County, CA. She graduated from high school in 1999 and proceeded to enroll in college. Before working in the entertainment industry, she first worked at a German bakery, then a Jiffy Lube. While studying to be a pediatric nurse in OC, a classmate who was an exotic dancer introduced Leone to John Stevens, an agent, who introduced her to Jay Allen, a Penthouse photographer. She posed for Penthouse, and was named Penthouse Pet of the Month for the March 2001 issue, followed by a feature in the Holiday 2001 edition of Hustler magazine as a Hustler Honey. That same year, Leone signed a 3 year contract with Vivid with which she transitioned into the world of hardcore porn.”
Perhaps it is just me but the best segue from her early life to what she has now become comes at the point where she mentions her work at Jiffy Lube, although a German bakery is equally good. It is intriguing how someone who was studying to be a pediatric nurse became an adult movie star whose website says “See why the world is obsessed.”
Jay tells me that he found her rather engaging in a vivacious sort of way and during their conversation there was nothing that screamed “porn star.” As you can see in Jay’s pictures she was fetchingly dressed. The pictures were taken during her attendance at the South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF) in
New York on October 23, 2012.
Sunny (Pic: Jay Mandal/On Assignment)
It is easy and tempting to lapse into racy humor while talking about her or any adult movie star but far be it for me to pluck low hanging fruits. (I could not help that one). Although she looks lovely in Jay’s pictures, one reads attitudes that may or may not exist in her simply because one infers, perhaps wrongly, those attitudes from her chosen profession. For instance, it is easy to assume a degree of brazenness or couldn’t care less approach to life that translates in Mumbai’s street lingo as “lund pe sund.” (I refuse to translate that).
Sunny, right, with well-known actor Kabir Bedi (center) and her husband Daniel Weber at the New York festival. (Pic: Jay Mandal/On Assignment)
I have consciously chosen not to ask Jay what was going through his mind while chatting with her. I believe him when he says he did not know much about her and found her to be “charming.” Jay spoke to the couple for long after the lascivious among the guests had faded away.
On a related note, Yahoo! India declared Arvind Kejriwal, the country’s much talked about campaigner against corruption in public life, as the most searched name in 2012 generally. What it means is that the two most searched names in India for this years are one who exposes corruption and the other who just exposes. Another way to look at it is that they both like to strip—he the world and she herself. Unlike him, she does not disappoint.