By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: Pin-up queen Poonam Pandey’s nightmarish experience in Bangalore on New Year’s eve while performing at a posh club the Capital Resort should put female celebrities in dread alert as far as performing live on the last night of the year goes.
“Never again! Never will I perform at a New Year’s eve celebration. It’s much too dangerous,” shudders Poonam as she recalls what she describes as her most dangerous confrontation with male aggression.
Reliving the traumatic experience, Poonam says, “I agreed to perform in Bangalore because the money was too tempting. They offered me a bomb. How was I to know what the evening had in store for me?”
Apparently, 10 minutes into her performance the all-male crowd got wildly out of control.
“They were all male and they were all drunk. I had 15-20 of my own bouncers and the organizers had provided about a 100 guards. But it wasn’t enough,” says Poonam.
As soon as her performance ended, hordes of rowdy male revelers broke the cordon separating the stage from the audience and tried to clamber on to the stage.
Shudders Poonam, “I realized on that evening that no amount of bouncers and bodyguards can protect you from a drunken mob. The men who jumped on to the stage had only one thing on their mind. And they were not thinking with their minds. They were thinking with another part of the anatomy.”
Poonam did the only thing she could, given the dangerous circumstances. She fled.
“I’ve never run so fast in my life. I am sure I gave Milkha Singh a run for his money. I ran upstairs all the way to my room. But guess what? The mob chased me to my room! So there I was, running into my room with the mob in hot pursuit and the bodyguards and bouncers chasing them. It’d have been comic if it wasn’t so scary.”
Poonam has vowed never to perform at a New Year’s binge.
“Believe me, it is just not right. There are only men and they are all drunk. I’d advise all female celebrities to avoid dancing for New Year’s celebrations. No amount of money is worth your izzat and your life. I’ve never been more scared in my life. Never again!”