By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: Move over, Priyanka, Katrina, Kareena and all the other Bollywood divas who have lately been collecting the loot for their item numbers.
Pin-up girl Poonam Pandey has just gone South to Kannada cinema for an item song in a film. She has returned home with a cool Rs 5 crores!
When questioned about the fabulous figure, Poonam chuckles, “I am not revealing what I got. But yes, when I heard the money that they were offering I kind of fell back.I reeled back and gulped. I wondered if I had heard right. Utne paise toh heroines ko bhi nahin milte.”
Poonam confesses she had reservations about being branded an item girl so early in her acting career. “After Nasha where I had the author-backed central role I didn’t want to do just a song-and-dance. But like I said, the money for that one number was more than what heroines get in Bollywood. Also, the choreographer was the veteran Chinni Prakash. Every top heroine in Bollywood has worked with him.”
But can Poonam dance? “I leave that for you to judge,” she says.
The producers of the Kannada film plan to release Poonam’s item number as independent video.
Back home, Poonam attended Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell match and kept her clothes on. Says Poonam, “I don’t know what people expected me to do. But I have decided to not do anything scandalous in public places. Not after the dozens of court cases that were filed against me after the last cricket incident.”
Poonam had promised to streak after the 2011 Cricket World Cup if India won. She never kept her promise. But the moralists and law enforcers pounced on her.
Shuddering at the memory, Poonam says, “I am still attending court hearings in cities I never knew existed. So no more scandals in cricket field. When Sachin played his farewell match I was just happy to be a spectator.Although I must tell you, no one clicked pictures when Rahul Gandhi was spotted. But when they saw me they went wild with their cameras.”
Poonam now readies herself for her second Bollywood film. “It’s again a heroine-oriented subject. And yes, no more item songs, unless I am paid as much as I was for the Kannada film.”