Why Does Hollywood Have A Fetish For India?


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International celebrities from all across the globe decidedly seem to have an obsession with all things India.

Calling it a ‘mystical land’ which they must ‘experience’… international superstars, supermodels, and all the bigwigs from Hollywood make it a point to ‘brave the adventure’ of visiting this tropical, mysterious country in the far east.

Whenever India is portrayed, it’s always about street beggars, crowded roads, elephants, havelis or palaces, snake charmers and cows roaming the streets. For the large majority of Indians living in the towns and cities this view comes across as myopic and stereotyped.

A while ago, Oprah Winfrey who wanted to ‘capture a slice of Indian life’ had visited the country. Her special program on India offended a huge number of the population who called her show ‘unaware’, ‘ignorant’ and even ‘snobbish’ and ‘snooty’.

A nation that prides itself on its cuisine and hospitality was taken aback when all Oprah saw was the Indian style of eating. She said, “I heard some Indian people eat with their hands still?”

Taking this fetish to another level some Hollywood celebrities like to celebrate special occasions in this ‘land of enigma’. Why, some even go on to marry an ‘ethnic’ Indian businessman or tycoon for a taste of the east.

Sunday, witnessed one more celebrity visit the country to give her beau an ‘exotic’ escapade for his birthday: Our photographers spotted British supermodel Naomi Campbell arrive in Jodhpur this weekend with her Russian billionaire boyfriend Vladimir Doronin, to enjoy his 50th birthday here on November 7. Campbell, wearing her famous pout, a cotton white dress and black sandals barely acknowledged the lensmen.

Keeping to the stereotypical idea of India, the 42 year old ramp queen has chosen the splendid Mehrangarh Fort for the pre birthday bash on November 6.

Wanting to juice as much from this rustic experience as she can, Campbell has booked two venues of the fort – Daulat Khana and Zenana Courtyard for one single bash!

The couple, who has been dating since 2008, is staying at the Umaid Bhawan Palace for the four-day celebration.

Of course, the decor planned is as Indian as it can get: the entire fort, from head to toe has been decorated with a vivid and colourful Rajasthani theme. The couple plans to enter the fort in a royal procession with Rajasthani folk artists performing throughout the walk.

The pair has forked out a lot of moolah too for this experience.

An insider reveals, “No expense has been spared. Naomi’s team is even helping their friends secure visas. It will be the party of the century. 200 celebrities from Hollywood and modelling industry are expected. Guests list will include the band Black Eyed Peas, Grace Jones, Donatella Versace, Kate Moss, Giorgio Armani and Jennifer Lopez. The dinner will take place at Daulat Khana and a glittering musical performance will take place in Zenana Courtyard.”

In her enthusiasm to get the whole Indian deal, Naomi even planned to organize an elephant polo match for her guests entertainment. However, this idea has not gone down too well with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Benazir Suraiya from PETA said: ‘It’s sad and predictable for this clueless woman to exploit India’s national treasure, the elephant, an animal with more dignity and intelligence than she can ever dream of.’

“She is not using her fame and money for the betterment of animals. I have spoken to the chairman of Animal Welfare Board of India. Naomi will be receiving a legal notice shortly,” said PETA India’s Director (Veterinary affairs) Manilal Valliyate.