- 22 Mar 2011
It seems that at times, she regrets not having the life of a normal 20-year-old, but the overnight transition from model to mini celebrity almost makes up for it. Seven months ago, Poonam Pandey entered the world of modelling as a teenager, but an 'innocuous' statement turned her into a national sensation – she promised to strip if India won the World Cup. Several interviews, threat calls, arrest warrants and Bollywood offers later, Poonam is ready to face the naysayers with a resolve to strip if the BCCI permits her to .
She tells us that the BCCI rejected her offer to strip for the team, and she doesn't want to commit any crime by doing something she hasn't got permission for. She says, "I stand by my commitment. I am now requesting the media to ask the BCCI to give me permission."
She explains, "I'm just clearing everyone's doubts that they shouldn't take my statement in a wrong way. I don't mind the attention, and I don't regret my statement. I was happy about the team's performance." "Support me please?" she requests.
But while she tries to fulfil her promise, she is also preparing to compete in the reality show "Khatron Ke Khiladi". Even though she got various offers, including Bollywood item numbers, she isn't interested. Says Poonam, "So many offers have come, but at present, I'm only focusing on KKK. People approached me with offers for movies, item numbers, and magazine interviews, but I am not keen. Of course, my plan eventually is to work in Bollywood. Let's see how it all works out."
Of course, post the offer from the channel for the show, her statement is being termed a publicity stunt, but Poonam vehemently denies the allegation. She says, "I don't know why people are thinking this is a publicity stunt. That was a statement for team India, and it's been made into such a big issue. People do treat me differently at times but I'm okay with everything," she states confidently.
Things may be settling down now, but her parents were not happy with her statement initially. Her businessman father and mother (who is a housewife), and her brother, who is two years older than her, were quite upset. She reveals, "In the beginning they were upset. Now they're okay. They first asked me how I could say something like that. But then I explained it to them. I told them how this was not incorrect; don't interpret it as being naked and vulgar. You were born naked. So, don't take this in a cheap way. Now everything is fine between us," she insists.
However, she did face tough times right after India won the match. Says Poonam, "So many arrest warrants were announced, and being 20 and facing so many of these problems alone was very tough. I kept thinking – this is so crazy. These people are creating such a big issue. When India won, I was the happiest female on earth. I was dancing in front of the TV. But, I was not with my parents, and was alone, and I was upset. I was locked – trapped my house, I had to be underground. Soon after, I had an unexpected kidney stone problem."
But she changes the topic and we switched back to the topic of the reality show. Ask her what she'd do if she wins, and Poonam quips, "Come on, if I say something, people file court cases. So, it's better to keep my mouth shut. There's a surprise I have planned, if I win. Right now, it's only about work and no holidays. I enjoy my work like I would enjoy a holiday."